For those, who have seen Bharathanatyalaya’s popular dance ballets – Sri Krishna Leela, Godaguchi, Meenakshi Kalyanam, Shakthi Peetalu, Saptarishi Ramayanam, Gopala Choodamani, Nava Durga, Kadamba Manjari, Rama Parijatham or Srinivasa Kalyanam, its director Chitra Narayanan must be a familiar figure. The ballet “Godaguchi” was telecast on Doordarshan and “Saptaswara Mahimanvitam”, was performed as part of the institute’s Shasti Poorthi in 2007.
Chitra learnt the intricacies of Bharatanatyam since the age of three under her mother and Guru, Rukmini Srinivasan Garu, who had established Bharathanatyalaya in 1947, at Chennai. She has been teaching this art form since 1985 in Hyderabad and online across the globe. Her choreography style of Padams and Javalis are very unique and spectators get connected easily. There are many in the city who learn Abhinaya from her. She has a knack of using compositions from different languages such as Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Sanskrit, Hindi etc. to appeal to the young and old.
If you have the determination, the versatile Guru can chisel you in a month for a performance, which was proved recently. Chitra Narayanan has been honoured with “Durgabai Deshmukh” award and “Natyakala Saraswathi” title.
The pedagogy adopted by her, shapes the actions, judgements and other teaching strategies taking into consideration the understanding, needs, backgrounds and interests of each individual student. For those willing to pursue an education in dance and make a career, the Guru trains them to appear for Certificate, Diploma and MA courses.
The dancing genes run in the family, with Guru Chitra Narayanan’s daughter Latha Ravi and granddaughters Ramya Suresh and Suprasanna Srinath also lighting up the stage.