Natya Vriksha aims to make youth aware of the immense potential of Bharatanatyam to become a live voyage of learning. Through 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.
Towards this end, at Natya Vriksha, Geeta has evolved a holistic method of transmitting classical dance; her approach encompasses training students both in dance (theory and practice) and dance aesthetics. They are also made aware of the related fields of music, aharya (costuming & make-up), stage design and sound & light technologies.
Currently nearly 100 students – including some from less privileged backgrounds – are being trained in classical dance at Natya Vriksha; several of them have presented their arangetrams and are professionally performing artists today.
The South Indian languages (Tamil and Telugu) in which this dance form is traditionally based are alien to most of the students coming to Natya Vriksha. It is an uphill task to make them understand the nuances of these languages. Geeta takes special care and interest in imparting the meaning and ideas underlying the lyrics the children learn. Geeta also familiarizes her students with our ancient epics, legends and mythology, which form the foundation of the Indian classical dance experience. Towards this end, the Natya Vriksha Lecture Series was also launched to interest students on larger issues of Indian culture, traditions and heritage.
For the past decade, Natya Vriksha has been celebrating World Dance Day by organizing seminars to engage the dance community and connoisseurs to initiate a creative dialogue. To encourage youth talent in the classical arts, Natya Vriksha also hosts a prestigious Young Dancers Festival.
The Natya Vriksha Dance Company is unique in that all dancers have been entirely trained in Bharatanatyam by Geeta, who is Artistic Director of the Company. Since the dancers have grown up together, the level of trust and togetherness evident in the Company's choreographies, ensure a completely different emotional appeal.
The Dance Company has forged a reputation for its crisp and mature group dance presentations. The Company has performed widely to rave reviews and has set high standards for group performances. The Natya Vriksha Dance Company was invited to perform twice at the National Festival of Choreography in Delhi, for the Uday Shankar Choreography Festival in Kolkata, at the famed Lincoln Centre in New York for the India-60 celebrations in 2007, and for the Festival in Bangkok in October 2008. The Company's precise and crisp Bharatanatyam choreographies include HER VOICE, AVAL, SEASONS, IMAGINING PEACE, MYTHOLOGIES RETOLD.
Natya Vriksha is incredibly proud of the over thirty disciples who have presented their arangetrams, of the growing numbers of professional dancers proliferating from the institution's portals and of the growing number of scholarship holders who are testimonials to the successful method that Geeta Chandran has evolved.
Natya Vriksha's vision statement seeks to probe the continuing relevance of classical tradition in a world of changing values. It showcases the aesthetics of Bharatanatyam and its history, how the tenets of the dance can be employed as a means of communicating issues of contemporary concern, even while exploring linkages between history and continuity, between external body and internal mind-space, between yesterday and tomorrow, between artist and audience… between roots and wings.
Natya Vriksha | firstname.lastname@example.org | +91 11 2696 4964
“Movement is the freedom of the body; stillness, of the mind.”
- Marty Rubin