I respected for my age or my dance?” asked he to the packed audience at
Tagore Memorial Hall, an audience that was stunned and overwhelmed after
having watched his dance performance. This was an audience for which any
brilliant performer would have dreamt to perform for. The audience
consisted of veteran dance gurus, teachers and students from all parts
of Gujarat and this was a performance any spectator would have longed to
In the tranquil
moment, the spectator would like to answer the question asked by the performer,
“We respect you for your dance, which you have been performing for more
than five decades.” This Bharatanatyam dance performer was none other than
Prof. C V
from Chennai, fondly known as Baroda Chandrasekhar, who spent 16 very creative
years of his life at M S University, Baroda as H O D and Prof. of Dance
where he trained a number of dancers.
Kalakshetra, Chennai, as a dancer, well versed in both Carnatic and Hindustani
classical systems of music, academician and scholar of dance, recipient
of many prestigious national awards and widely traveled all over the world
to perform, Chandrashekhar and his group performed in Ahmedabad on the
invitation by Preksha in ‘Gurudakshina’ as a tribute to another great Guru
Pathagudy S Ramaswamy.
and the last performance of the evening were Kreeda and Holi respectively,
performed by the young dancers rigorously trained under the apt tutelage
of Prof. and his wife Jaya Chandrasekhar. Kreeda makes one nostalgic about
the games played during childhood and youth. In Holi, Krishna happily plays
with the gopis of Vraj.
choreographed and directed by Chandrashekhar, both pieces mesmerized the
audience by the perfect harmony of laya, tala, music, movements, colors
and the vibrancy with which the dancers performed.
these two pieces were the traditional kritis, allaripu, varnam and asthapadi
performed by Chandrashekhar himself. He performed them with charm,
ease and poise as if he had been dancing eternally.
consistency and subtlety of nritta and abhinaya, all aesthetic principles
of Indian classical dance, combined together were par excellence.
The performance of the evening reaffirms one’s faith in deep-rooted and
strong traditions of stylization of principles of beauty, sublimity and
spirituality for which Indian classical art is venerated all over.
From the very
next day, the scene shifted to the large central hall of L & P Hutheesing
Visual Art Center, CEPT Campus, where over a hundred aspiring dance performers,
students, teachers and professionals from all over Gujarat gathered to
attend the workshop, “Awareness of form in Indian classical dance with
special reference to Bharatanatyam,” conducted by Chandrasekhar. The workshop
and lecture demonstrations were jointly organised by Gujarat State Sangeet
Natak Akademi and Bijoy Shivram of Preksha from 23rd to 26th March.
many misconceptions and emphasizing on the in-depth study of the idiom,
guru Chandrasekhar advised, “Preserve the tradition and have faith in your
hard work. Please do not spoil it in the name of doing something
new and do not dilute the concretized principles of classical dance on
the name of popularizing it. It is very divine, spiritual and pure.”