Patrons of dance should come forward to create a corpus to help indigent artistes, said Chitra Visweswaran, recipient of The Music Academy’s Natya Kala Acharya award for 2014.

In her acceptance speech, Ms. Visweswaran said every dancer and musician sought to achieve inner peace through the art form, but financial aid eluded many.

Corporate houses, through their social responsibility ventures, could help indigent artistes, she said, and urged the Academy to take up the issue.

This would also nudge the government to consider a neglected segment of the fine arts, she said.

The award was presented by eminent dancer C.V. Chandrasekhar, who urged young dancers to put their imagination in their performances and follow the ‘margam’ format.

The ‘margam’ was losing its importance to storytelling, he felt, and wanted all dancers ‘to bring about the essence of the emotive quality of dancers.’

Sreedhar Potarazu, the main sponsor of the Academy’s dance festival, said the intent in investing in the art was to promote the art and foster divinity in the arts.

President of the Academy N. Murali said this was the eighth year the dance festival was being held at the Academy.

During the seven-day festival that began on Friday, there will be 26 performances, including solo, duo and group presentations.

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