November 19, 2018 @ 7:30 pm Asia/Kolkata Timezone
Kamani Auditorium
Copernicus Marg
New Delhi, Delhi 110001
GEETA CHANDRAN's SWARNA @ Kamani Auditorium | New Delhi | Delhi | India

NATYA VRIKSHA presents GEETA CHANDRAN’s SWARNA, a solo classical dance performance to pay tribute to her Guru, late Smt. Swarna Saraswathy at 7 p.m., Monday, 19 November 2018 at Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi-110001.

My first Guru, Swarna Saraswathy hailed from an illustrious family of musicians and dancers. She was the daughter of the well-known singer Rajamani Ammal and the grand?daughter of the distinguished dancer Amritha Ethiraja Ammal, a disciple of Kutralam Narayanasami Pillai and Pandanallur Arunachalam Pillai.

She had her early training in dance under her grandmother and under Kanchipuram Thiruvengada Nattuvanar. “Visry” Chinnaiah Naidu taught her the theory of Bharatanatyam and she learnt the art of abhinaya from Mylapore Gowriammal. She was also trained in music by Tiger Varadachari, Namakal Sesha Iyengar and Satur Krishna Iyengar. From the age of seven she regularly accompanied her mother in music recitals. She was also a concert?level veena artist. What a complete grasp on the arts she had!

At the age of ten, in 1931, Swarna Saraswathy made her Bharatanatyam debut, her arangetram, following which she was launched on a hectic performing career, which lasted for over four decades. She danced all over South India and was widely appreciated for her skill and talent. In 1952 she went on a world tour presenting Bharatanatyam to audiences in Europe and was praised for “her eloquence in interpretative dance exposition.”

The highest accolade available in our country to an artist ? the Sangeet Natak Akademi award ? which is a recognition of merit by peers, was conferred on her in 1967, followed much later by the Ministry of Culture’s Fellowship in 1978.

In 1954 she launched her Bharatanatya Akademi in Madras and shifted base to Delhi in 1962, from where her Akademi continued its functioning.

A celebrated artist and a star-performer, Geeta Chandran began learning Bharatanatyam from the tender age of 5 years under the tutelage of Smt. Swarna Saraswathy, who hailed from the traditional Thanjavoor dasi parampara. Subsequently, Geeta continued learning diverse aspects of the classical dance from a galaxy of eminent Gurus.

Today she is a renowned artist who has synthesised the knowledge she received from her Gurus to imprint Bharatanatyam with her personal vision of the dance. In her dance presentations Geeta Chandran skilfully weaves abstract notions of Joy, Beauty, Values, Aspirations, Myth and Spirituality.

A polymath, Geeta Chandran effortlessly catalyses multiple vectors of creativity; She is celebrated not only for her deep and composite understanding of the art of Bharatanatyam, but also for her Carnatic music (she is a trained and accomplished vocalist), her work in television, video and film, theatre, choreography, dance education, dance activism and dance-issue journalism.

Geeta Chandran is Founder-President of her dance academy Natya-Vriksha in New Delhi. Natya Vriksha aims to make youth aware of the immense potential of Bharatanatyam to become a live voyage of learning. Through the dance, Geeta Chandran makes them comprehend the complex inter-linkages between the classical dance tradition and its strict grammar with other disciplines: Philosophy, Ritual, Religion, Myths, Ancient texts, Poetry, Literature, Art (Painting and Sculpture), Cultural Studies, Yoga, Handicrafts & Handlooms and Beauty & Aesthetics. Gender dynamics, gender equity and equality are integral to the pedagogy that Geeta has developed in her unique training module.

Geeta Chandran is also Artistic Director of the Natya Vriksha Dance Company, known for the high aesthetic quality of its group presentations that showcase Geeta’s metier as a choreographer.

A rare combination of being both a luminary and a visionary, Geeta Chandran is a widely respected role model for the young generation. She guides reputed national cultural institutions and prestigious universities as their Board member, and she also serves on the Advisory Boards of several reputed schools and colleges and on several Boards and Empanelment and other Committees of the Government of India.

An influential spokesperson for classical dance, Geeta Chandran is the author of SO MANY JOURNEYS, an intensely personal collection of her writings narrating her engagement with Bharatanatyam. She also writes an insightful dance column in The New Indian Express/Sunday Standard, and uses her unique space on social media to promote issues relating to Indian performing arts.

Promoting Art in Education is her particular passion and she is committed to catalysing youth audiences everywhere on the values that classical dance brings to life and living.

In her effort to “en-dance the universe,” she engages in a strategic range of dance-related activities: performing, teaching, conducting, singing, collaborating, organizing, writing and speaking to new youth audiences.

Geeta was awarded the prestigious national award — Padma Shri — by the President of India in 2007. She has also just been conferred the equally prestigious national Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Bharatanatyam for 2016, which she received from the Hon. President of India on 17 January 2018. In July 2017, Geeta received the NIRBHAYA PURUSKAR for mainstreaming gender equality issues in her dance. And in January 2018 she was conferred the International Women Achievers’ Award in Bahrain by the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). Geeta is also Brand Ambassador for IGL (Indraprastha Gas Ltd.) a leading public sector energy company. (