The Department of Dance, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication, University of Hyderabad (UoH) organised the NATARAJA RAMAKRISHNA MEMORIAL LECTURE on the topic “DANCE & ALLIED ARTS-A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP” by Ms. Chitra Visweswaran on 21st March 2022. Prof. BJ Rao, Vice-Chancellor of UoH and Prof. Vasuki Belavadi, the Dean of the School, presided over the talk which was attended by faculty, staff and students.
Ms. Visweswaran, a legend in the field of Indian dance is a scholar, thinker and seeker, with deep-rooted training in dance and music. Her inner thirst for knowledge, combined with her eclectic background in Western Ballet, Manipuri, Kathak, Rabindranritya, Rabindrasangeet and Theater, launched Smt. Chitra as a prima donna in the field of dance. She is known for her unique grammar which transcends the technique of Bharatanatyam to evokes in the viewer, a unique aesthetic and spiritual experience. Through her Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts established in 1974, which has over years produced several performers and she introduced holistic vision to dance training. Ms. Visweswaran has presented her works at several prestigious venues and festivals, nationally and internationally, including at the United Nations, at UNESCO and the Festivals of India in the USA, USSR, Spain and for the BBC International Telecast for India’s 50th Year of Independence amongst many others. A much sought-after speaker, she has contributed papers, lectures, lecture demonstrations at prestigious cultural forums and Universities across the globe. She has been honoured with several National and International awards, prominently the Padma Shri, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar, Nrityachoodamani , and the Honorary citizenship of the City of Bourges, France and Japan Foundation Award for Excellence to name a few.
In the lecture, Ms. Visweswaran explained her research process for making dance & dancer an effective tool for communication. Smt. Chitra said that she believed that for the dancer to achieve such a state, the approach to arts has to be holistic and inclusive. As such her talk delved into how her myriad explorations and inspirations from the allied arts of music, literature, theatre, sculpture, lighting and painting, informed her creative choreographic oeuvre. Recollecting her experiences, she spoke about how responding to the arts provided her the impetus to use the entire body as a tool of communication of the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual thus making it relevant to contemporary times. In conclusion Smt. Chitra shared that dance and the dancer do not evolve in isolation. Earlier in the day Smt. Chitra also visited the Department of dance and spent time with students over an informal interaction regaling them with her insightful artistic experiences.
Prof. B J Rao speaking at the event, accoladed Ms. Visweshwaran for her illustrative talk, which he hoped would inspire the students to enrich their artistic journey, by learning the importance of synthesis in arts. The Vote of thanks was presented by Prof. Belavadi.