Mumbai's dancers to contribute Rs 25 lakh to revive aspects of Bharatanatyam

Oct 04, 2018, 09:01 IST | Arita Sarkar

Apart from members of the dance community, Mahindra Finance and Indian Oil have also volunteered to make donations

Mumbai's dancers to contribute Rs 25 lakh to revive aspects of Bharatanatyam
Dr Padma Subrahmanyam

In order to revive the disappearing aspects of Bharatanatyam, members of Nrithyodaya, a Mumbai-based dance school, are raising funds to the tune of Rs 25 lakh for a new dance academy being set up by Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee Dr Padma Subrahmanyam. Apart from members of the dance community, Mahindra Finance and Indian Oil have also volunteered to make donations.

Dr Jayashree Rajagopalan, founder-director of Nrithyodaya, said that since its inception in Mumbai 43 years ago, she has been teaching Bharata Nrithyam, the form of dance created by Dr Subrahmanyam, a dancer and research scholar. "After 20 years of research into the history of dance, Dr Subrahmanyam had codified the Karanas, which are in the Grantha script from the Chola period. She is the first to bridge the gap between theory and practice," she added.

Dr Jayashree Rajagopalan
Dr Jayashree Rajagopalan

Karanas are key transitions in classical dance described in the Natya Shastra, one of the five vedas. The dance poses in the sculptures were incorporated into Bharatanatyam, which gave a new dimension to Indian classical dance, and it came to be known as Bharata Nrityam.

The donation will be used to construct the auditorium, which is part of the Bharata Ilango Foundation for Asian Culture. The Rs 10-crore project is being constructed at Pattipulam on five acres of land donated by the Tamil Nadu government. Apart from the auditorium, the research centre on performing arts includes a shrine for Bharatamuni, author of Natyashastra, a museum for the Karana sculptures, a library having digital records of visuals of ancient dance forms, as well as a seminar hall.

Dr Rajagopalan added, "Apart from Mahindra Finance and Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Traders, Ram Industries, other artists and well wishers, too, have offered support. We will present it to Dr Subrahmanyam on October 31 to celebrate her birthday. We have also prepared a dance drama, which recreates her life."

Rs 10crore
Total cost of the project

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