Bharatanatyam guru and dancer Chitra Visweswaran turned 70 on Oct.12 and dozens of her sishyas across five generations and from across the world greeted her in a unique greeting and in the way they know best – expressing it via dance.
Dozens of them performed to a special, original dance composition written to highlight this Alwarpet-based guru’s qualities and accomplishments, each dancer being featured for some 10/15 seconds for this themed production called Vichitra Vaibhavam.
Said her senior sishya and dancer Uma Satyanarayanan, “Actually, we had planned a a two-day dance fest to mark the milestone but with the pandemic breaking out, we chose the online celebration.”
Though they would have loved to greet the guru personally at her Sri Labdi Colony home and dance studio, the city based dancers restrained themselves.
Uma says she and her colleagues at Chitra’s academy – Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts – had been making plans since mid 2019 and even launched a small event at Bharat Kalachar to mark their guru’s 69th birthday, hoping to stretch this as a year-long event culminating in a dance fest this October.
Dance classes at the guru’s space in Alwarpet were suspended in late March but weeks later, the guru’s senior sishyas re-started classes online, each teaching from their homes.
Says Uma, “Chitra-akka took some time to come to grips with online teaching which she has never done. Now she takes special classes for seniors who want to learn some=thing new or brush up.”
- You can watch the videos for this occasion on the Facebook page of Chidambaram Academy of Performing Arts.