Natya Kala Conference pays tribute to Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan in its 41st year

Late Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan

The Margazhi Santa is back in Chennai, bringing the Christmas gift of the Natya Kala Conference in its 41st year. Organized by the Krishna Gana Sabha since 1981, the NKC is being helmed by Bharatanatyam exponent Rama Vaidyanathan as curator for the third year in a row.

This year, the NKC is being supported by late Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan's Ganesa Natyalaya and begins SwarnaSaroja, the fiftieth year celebrations of the Natyalaya. The dance fraternity lost Saroja ji this year and the NKC celebrating SwarnaSaroja is both a tribute to and a celebration of the memory and stature of the great guru, Rama's mother-in-law. Aalaap is the creative collaborator for the conference.

Rama Vaidyanathan

The theme for the Natya Kala Conference 2023 is TranscenDance: Natya That Traverses, Transposes And Transforms. Starting today, the NKC will feature sessions, discussions and workshops over five days. As the press material says, 'The language of dance is universal and has the power to cut across confines of language, culture and boundaries. Indian dance, in particular, has the capacity to transcend the form and the body, to be able to enter into another realm of consciousness. This quality of the dance to transform is experiential and helps us recognise that the process is more relevant than the performance itself.

'In this year’s Natya Kala Conference, we bring to you presentations by dancers who go beyond the notions of performance and the performative to travel a different path… those who have disrupted the conventional; who have distilled dance as therapy for the physically and emotionally challenged; those who have used dance for social activism, those who have travelled beyond the proscenium stage to create and nurture new spaces to engage with the arts.'

Tickets and schedule are both at this link. If you are in Chennai and are still undecided, get your ticket now!

Pics: Anoop Arora