Natya Vriksha Celebrates World Dance Day with Geeta Chandran at India International Centre

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Dancer/Guru Geeta Chandran along with her organization NATYA VRIKSHA dedicated to promoting Indian classical dance forms, celebrated World Dance Day – their annual dance event on April 20th and 21st, 2024. This 17th annual edition showcased various dance styles, workshops, seminars and discussions, aiming to celebrate the rich heritage of Indian classical dance. The event was hosted in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the India International Centre.

Lifetime Achievement Award to Leela Venkataraman

Curated by Geeta Chandran the event boasted a diverse program spanning two days:

While day 1 witnessed a workshop on “Movement Techniques in Sattriya” led by Prateesha Suresh along with artists from Assam. This open workshop for dancers of all classical styles was convened in the morning, the afternoon session saw the 5th Natya Vriksha Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony that honoured the renowned dance critic /scholar /author Smt. Leela Venkataraman, for her enriching contribution to the realm of Indian Classical Dance.

The afternoon session culminated with a discussion on “Celebrating Rukmini Devi Arundale” with author Dr. V.R. Devika in her new book “Rukmini Devi Arundale, Arts Revivalist and Institution Builder” (Publisher: Niyogi Books). Noted author Ashok Vajpeyi received the first copy of the book.

The evening session was quite the contrast as it brought about great performances by young dancers. Bharatanatyam by Vaishnavi Srinivasan and Nivedha Harish, disciples of Guru Smt. Roja Kannan was followed by a mesmerising Kathak performance by Divya Goswami, disciple of Late Guru Shri Munnalal Shukla.

Day Two, Sunday, April 21st, was also an extravaganza, continuing with the morning workshop on Sattriya movement techniques, led by Prateesha Suresh. In the afternoon, a seminar on the Legacy in Classical Dance featuring a panel discussion with dancers from different parts of India was held. The day concluded with a Young Dancers’ Festival showcasing rising stars performing Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam.

The workshops were conducted at IIC, Multipurpose Hall, Kamaladevi Block, Gate No. 1, New Delhi and seminars plus Performances were organised at Seminar, Lectures & Performances: C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium, IIC, 40 Lodi Estate, New Delhi

On the occasion, the curator of this spectacular event and founder of Natya Vriksha, Dancer Geeta Chandran said, “Natya Vriksha wasn’t born solely from a love of dance, but from a need to create a community – a space where dancers of all styles can come together, share their journeys, and support one another. It’s about breaking down barriers, empowering young talent, and celebrating the incredible artists who have dedicated their lives to this art form.”

Natya Vriksha was founded with the vision of preserving and promoting Indian classical dance forms. Through workshops, seminars, and performances, the organization provides a platform for dancers and enthusiasts to learn, connect, and celebrate this vibrant art form.