This year’s recipient of the Music Academy’s Natya Kala Acharya Award for Dance is Chitra Visweswaran, a Bharatanatyam dancer and guru who really needs no introduction.
Beginning her artistic journey under the watchful guidance of her mother Rukmini, she learnt the nuances from T.A Rajalakshmi. She choreographed her first piece when she was just eleven! And has not stopped since.
In 1970, she received the National Scholarship for advanced study in Bharatanatyam from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, and she spent her scholarship period of four years under the doyen, Vazhuvoor Ramaiyya Pillai.
Having performed extensively both in India and abroad, Chitra has also trained a number of students at her Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts. Chitra choreographed her first major dance drama ‘Devi Ashta Rasa Malika’ which was trend setter of sort at that time. Some of her other choreographics works, both solo and group, include ‘Krishnanjali,’ ‘Purandara Krishnamritham’ (in which rare kritis Purandaradasa were strung together), ‘Saptha Sapthi,’ ‘Sthree Sakthi’ and ‘Naveena Niroopanna.’
Chitra has been bestowed with several honours and awards, including the Padma Sri and the State Government’s kalaimamani.
The Natya Kala Acharya Award for Dance will be conferred on Chitra Visweswaran on January 3, 2014, at the inaugural of the Music Academy’s Annual Dance Festival.