Ananya : The Unparalleled - October 6 to October 10, 2012 - Purana Quila, New Delhi - Daily at 7 to 8.15 pm - Entry Free
Saturday, 6th October 2012
Bharatanatyam - Saroja Vaidyanathan's group (Delhi)
Originating in Tamil Nadu, Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest and most popular dance forms of India. Originating in Tamil Nadu and obtained from the earlier Dasiattam – the dance of the devadasi – it was nurtured in the temples and courts of southern India. Subsequently, four brothers known as the Tanjore Quartet codified it as a performing art in the 19th century. Their musical compositions form the bulk of Bharatanatyam repertoire even today. The devadasis and nattuvanars, the male gurus, were the sole repository of Bharatanatyam until the early 20th century. During the British rule the dance fell into disrepute and was banned in the temples. The revival of the dance during the 1930s by pioneers, such as E. Krishna Iyer and Rukmini Devi Arundale, set the tone for Bharatanatyam as we know it today.

One of India’s prominent Bharatanatyam exponents, Saroja Vaidyanathan is acknowledged as an adept dancer, guru and choreographer and author. She started learning at age seven from the accomplished Guru Lalitha of Saraswati Gana Nilayam, Chennai. She is the third- generation disciple of the famous Guru Kattumannar Tanjavur Muthukumaran Pillai. She has received worldwide acclaim for her dance recitals and repertoire and been teaching Bharatanatyam for the past four decades in the ancient Guru-Shishya tradition. Her innovative choreography has not only yielded several enthralling ballets based on mythology and social themes, it has also attracted a lot of young talent to the dance form. Her institute, Ganesa Natyalaya, in New Delhi, boasts of students from both India and abroad. Travelled widely in India and abroad, Saroja Vaidyanathan’s recent works include a Bharatanatyam segment for XIX Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony and compositions on Tagore’s poems as part of the poet’s 150th anniversary celebrations.