Its a evening to remember for classical dance and music lovers of Vadodara when 81 years old Padma Bhushan Prof. C V Chandrashekhar will perform a choreographed piece ‘Chakra’ non stop for almost one hour. The eminent and veteran Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher was formerly taught at Faculty of Performing Arts in Vadodara before settling down in Chennai.
Prof. C V Chandrasekhar a student of the late Rukminidevi Arundale at Kalashetra, Chennai, he continued the Kalakshetra ‘gharana’ in Vadodara after Anjaliben Mehr, who also trained at Kalakshetra. The 81 year old maestro said that he is still learning and will continue till the last breath.
“Banaras and Baroda are the two cities which bring tears in my eyes whenever I get the chance to listen about them. I enjoyed every bit of life in both the cities and I spend 27 years in Banaras and 17 in Baroda and both the cities are dear to me. I live music and dance and at this age still growing and learning and will continue to do so till the last breath,” said Chandrashekhar.
He said that at their time there was problems for the males come to dance Bharatanatyam but now the scenario is changing. “At our time we for males its very tough to learn as I also felt the same during my early days. My friends used to teased me that I can turned into a girl if I learn classical dance but I continue my passion. Now the generation is not stop themselves to do anything and hence more and more male dancers are coming out,” said Chandrashekhar.
Prof. C V Chandrasekhar will be performing a choreographed piece, “Chakra”, at 8 pm on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at the Prof. C C Mehta Auditorium. Prof. C V Chandrasekhar is now 81 years old, very active, performing and teaching … a lesson to all of us!
Brief about him-:
Born in 1935 in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar has made a significant contribution to Bharatanatyam as a performer, teacher, composer and scholar. His choreographic works in Bharatanatyam for solo and group presentation have been highly acclaimed. Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar was trained in Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra, Madras, by Shrimati Sarada Hoffman, S. Sarda, Rukmini Devi Arundale, Karaikkal Saradamba, K.N. Dandayudha Pillai and Mylapore Gowri Amma; and obtained his postgraduate diploma from there. He also learnt Carnatic music under T. K. Ramaswamy lyengar, Budallur Krishnamurthy Sastri, M.D. Ramanathan, Mudikandan Venkataraha lyer, and Mysore Vasudevachar.
In the years to come, Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar came to be known as a leading teacher and scholar of dance. He imparted training in Bharatanatyam at a number of institutions including Vasant Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Varanasi, where he began his career as a dance teacher in 1958; Banaras Hindu University, where he was a Lecturer in dance from 1965 to 1979; and Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, from where he retired in 1992 as Head of the Department of Dance and Dean of the Faculty of Performing Arts.
He groomed a number of dancers at the two universities where he worked. Subsequently, he established his institution Nrityashree, where he has been imparting training in Bharatanatyam with his wife Jaya Chandrasekhar. His major choreographic productions inciude RituSamharam, Meghadut’am, Bhoomlja, Aparajiz‘a, Pancha Maha-bhootam, Holi, Kreeda and Aarohanam. As a soloist, and with his group, Prof. Chandrasekhar has performed in major dance festivals in lndia and abroad.
In Vadodara, under the Ghargharika banner, Prof. Chandrasekhar will present a choreographed piece, ‘Chakra’. The dance presents the journey of the ethereal soul which besieges the Karma enclosed within the cycle of life. This divinity commands and moulds the Chakra of Karma in such an elegant way to achieve the ecstatic state of being that manifests wisdom, simplicity, grace, and beauty of a strong spiritual entity.
For his outstanding contribution to Indian dance, he has received several awards and honours including the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1978; the Gujarat Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1982; the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1993; the title of Kalaimamani bestowed by the Tamil Nadu Eyal lsai Nataka Manram in 2003; the Kalidas Samman in 2008; title of Bharata Muni was bestowed upon him by the Nalanda Mahavidhyalya, Mumbai, as a mark of respect to his contribution, and the Padma Bhushan in 2011.
Prof. C. V. Chandrasekhar is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to lndian dance.