Indian Fine Arts Society (IFAS, esb 1932), one of the oldest and prestigious Sabhas in Chennai presented Bharatanatyam exponent (Padmashri Awardee) Geeta Chandran with the title of NATYA KALASIKHAMANI AWARD (Gold Medal, Citation and Cash Purse of Rupees One Lakh) at Ethiraja Kalyana Nilayam, Chennai. Sri K Harishankar (Secretary Narada Gana Sabha) who also inaugurated the 90th chapter of South Indian Music Conference & Festival 2022-23, and (Padmashri Awardee) Shri Nalli Kupusamy Chettiar presented her the honor.
IFAS CITATION: Vidushi Geeta Chandran is synonymous with Bharatanatyam the classical dance that she has practised for decades since her journey began at the age of 5 under the tutelage of her first Guru Smt. Swarna Saraswati who hailed from the traditional Daasi Parampara. Since then, her dance voyage has embraced intense learning under several stalwart Gurus. Yet, Geeta has imprinted Bharatanatyam with her unique personality where delicate shades of abhinaya are offset by extremely challenging nritta sequences. Her vast knowledge and training of Carnatic music further imbues her dance with a unique flavour.
A widely feted artist and star-performer, Geeta Chandran uses her deep skills in Bharatanatyam as ‘force multiplier’ for the widest range of classical dance issues that have engaged her focus: exploring linkages between body and mind; forging relationships between solo dancing, group dancing and choreography; actualising the connects between the artist and society; and using dance as a medium for expressing abstract notions of joy, beauty, values, aspirations, myth and spirituality.
Chandran is the Founder-President of NATYA VRIKSHA, the cultural organization that she founded in 1991, and which is established in New Delhi as a leading centre for training in Bharatanatyam in its most composite form. As a prominent Guru who is imparting invaluable classical dance knowledge to future generations, Geeta’s inspired contribution to Bharatanatyam’s teaching/learning pedagogy steeped in both tradition and modernity is widely acknowledged as a contemporary milestone in dance theory.
She has received honours and awards from all parts of the world. Among her large stable of honours and awards are the PADMASHRI (2007); the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2016); and the Tagore National Fellowship (2018-2021). She is recipient of the NRITYA PERUNJYOTI 2020 title bestowed by ABHAI, the Association of Bharatanatyam Artists of India. Geeta was also UNESCO’s South Asia Advocate for Artists in the COVID-19 pandemic.
On receiving the honour Bharatanatyam guru Chandran said: “I am highly honoured to have received this prestigious award from one of Chennai’s most prestigious sabhas. We are fortunate to be here today and be amongst legends who each in their own special way have contributed to the highest standards of dance and music. I have devoted myself to my undying passion — Bharatnatyam — and will continue to do so…. I have tried to pass on the learnings I have received from my beloved Gurus to the young generation and hope that their legacy can live on… “