Padmashri Smt. Geeta Chandran, a renowned Bharatanatyam dancer, teacher and choreographer, is the Guru & mother of Sharanya.

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 daasi 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 synthesized the knowledge she received from her Gurus to imprint Bharatanatyam with her personal vision of the dance. In her dance presentations, Geeta Chandran skillfully weaves abstract notions of Joy, Beauty, Values, Aspirations, Myth and Spirituality.

A polymath artist, Geeta Chandran 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 & film, theatre, choreography, dance education, dance activism and dance-issue journalism.

An A-Top graded dancer at Doordarshan and at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Geeta is recipient of several prestigious awards, among them: the Lady Shri Ram College Illustrious Alumna Award, the Dandayudhapani Pillai Award, the Guru Deba Prasad Das Award, the Bharat Nirman Award, the Natya Ilavarasi, the Indira Priyadarshini Award, the Media India Award, the National Critics Award, the Sringar Mani and the Natya Ratna.

Geeta Chandran is Founder-President of her dance academy Natya Vriksha. She is also Artistic Director of the Natya Vriksha Dance Company, known for the high aesthetic quality of its group presentations that showcase Geeta's métier as a choreographer.

But beyond her unique position as a pre-eminent classical dancer, Geeta has continuously attempted to push the frontiers of the classical art and to reach out to new, and especially young, audiences. Geeta believes that dance must be linked to life and that artists must use their unique position in society to make a difference to life and living. In expanding the frontiers of her classical dance performances, Geeta has collaborated with a wide range of dancers, musicians, craftspersons, authors, writers, poets, painters, theatre-personalities, academicians, philosophers, linguists and costume & fashion designers.

Arts Education is another of her impassioned commitments and she is an advocate for incremental arts education supporting both government and private initiatives to achieve a higher level of arts learning as part of formal education.

Geeta Chandran also believes in exploring creative channels of support for the arts, for better quality arts management in India and tapping Corporate Cultural Responsibility for better funding of the arts, and especially dance.

Geeta has authored a book SO MANY JOURNEYS, an intensely personal collection of her writings narrating her engagement with Bharatanatyam. She also writes an influential dance column in The New Indian Express / Sunday Standard.

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. She was the Chairperson of the Board of Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi. She is a Board Member of both Springdales School and Shiv Nadar Schools.

Geeta is the Government of India's nominee the executive Board of the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi and she is a Member of the General Council of the SNA. She is also a Member of the General Council of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and is a Member on ICCR's Empanelment Committee.

She engages in the widest range of dance-related activities: performing, teaching, conducting, singing, collaborating, organizing, writing and speaking to new youth audiences.

In recognition of her vast and varied contribution to Bharatanatyam, Geeta was awarded the prestigious national award – the Padma Shri – by the President of India in 2007. |