The well-known Bharatanatyam artist, Geeta Chandran talks about the role of an artist and governance issues that need attention
Yoshika Sangal | November 25, 2016 | New Delhi
Geeta Chandran is a well-known Bharatanatyam artist. She has founded the dance academy, Natya Vriksha, which has travelled across the globe for promotion of Bharatanatyam. She has contributed in Carnatic music, television, theatre, choreography and dance training. She has also presented many performances in India and abroad to raise funds for social causes. Chandran has received several prestigious awards including the Padma Shri in 2007.
What role does an artist play in society?
Just being an artist should be enough. All art forms communicate universal values that link people. There are some artists who push the frontiers beyond the mandate of their art forms. They become leaders. They question, think, provoke. They become icons. But the role that any artist wishes to play in society is purely an individual choice.
Does fusion hamper originality?
What form of art one finds satisfying is an individual decision. To me, pristine classical Bharatanatyam is as fulfilling as creating new genres of work. Every artist has the freedom to choose their own creative expression. If fusion is what one finds fulfilling, so be it. Let’s not moralise on what is right and wrong. The criticism can only be whether it is well-done or half-baked. To me, training in any art form is paramount.
You also highlight social issues through dance.
I have involved myself with social issues that have irked me. Environmental degradation, man’s inhumanity to man, the meaninglessness of war and conflict, the need to question our myths, gender conflict, all have engaged my work.
When was the last time you visited a government office? How was your experience?
Often enough. I think government workplaces are changing. There is increasing accountability and yes, even cleanliness. Of course, e-governance is still to be fully operationalised, but the efforts are visible and growing.
What are the governance issues that you think need attention?
I think transparency of selection procedures is something that cultural governance has to embrace as a value. Unfortunately, coteries coalesce around government structures and talent is not always the touchstone for cultural decisions. I would rank the need for both, a culture of transparency and cultural education for the bureaucracy, at the top of my wish list for change.
(The interview appears in November 16-30, 2016)
Joseph A Cannataci is the UN’s first and current special rapporteur for the right to privacy appointed by the Human Rights Council (HRC) in July 2015. His appointment came with growing global concerns about threats to privacy in the digital age where governments and big corporations collect mass da
This is what Arun Jaitley had to say: We want to take action which may either want to have an assault on what is the shadow economy or the parallel economy itself. Let us take this example of what everybody has commented on Section 132. Section 132, in simple,
After an intense seven-hour-long debate in the Lok Sabha, the cabinet gave a nod to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. A green signal has also been given to the four crucial supplementary bills; Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Bill, Integrated GST (IGST) Bill, Compensation GST (compensation
A successful effort to take high speed internet to over six lakh Indian villages by an IIT Bombay team failed to get support from the government. But, the same indigenous television white space technology developed by the team has now won Mozilla Corporation’s ‘equal rating innovation cha
Delhi Jal Board, in collaboration with University of Virginia on Thursday unveiled the Yamuna River Project with a symposium cum exhibition as a part of the overall effort to map out an expansive, multidisciplinary prescription to clean Yamuna. The discussion opened on the lines of eradicati
Over 22 crore LED bulbs have been distributed by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under UJALA scheme, union minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha. The minister said that the National LED programme, called Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for