Late Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan

(Bharatnatyam Legend)

Dr. Saroja, Since a very tender age of seven years trained under the accomplished Guru Lalitha of Saraswati Gana Nilayam and is the third generation (Paramapara) disciple of the famous Guru Kattumannar Muthukumaram Pillai of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. She has also undergone training in Carnatic Music under Prof. P. Sambamoorthy at the Madras University. Saroja is one of Indias prominent Bharatnatyam exponents earning her fame as an intelligent and innovative choreographer. She has travelled widely across the world as a professional dancer and has choreographed scores of enthralling ballets. She has choreographed and directed a Bharatnatyam Cultural Segment for the Queens Baton Relay (2009) and XIX Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony (2010). She has composed, choreographed and directed a six minute Bharatanatyam segment for 1700 dancers for the opening ceremony of World Culture Festival in New Delhi organized by Art of Living founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. She is an accomplished author with a fellowship from Department of Culture, Government of India for Aharya Abhinaya. She published four art books in dance and music and compiled an encyclopedia on Bharatanatyam for NCERT. She built a Kathak School in Bhagalpur in Bihar Sharadha Sangeet Sadan in 1972. As a Guru she has established a fine art institution Ganesh Natyalaya in 1974 in Delhi. She is a Chairperson of National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (Govt. of India). She is an esteemed member of several renowned organizations including Ministry of Culture, ICCR, SKP, IGNOU and IKSVV (Indira Kala Sangit Vishwavidyalaya) Chattisgarh. In addition to several prestigious awards she is the recipient of Padmashri and Padma Bushan from Govt. of India, Delhi State award from S.K.P., Kalimamani from Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Sangeet Nataka Akademi award from Sangeet Natak Akademi, Kalidas Samman from Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, D.Litt from IKSVV (Khairagarh) Vayo Sreshta Samman Award from Govt. of India, Ambassador of Peace by IIFWP and Kalpana Chawla Excellence Award, Acharya choodamani award (Chennai), Lifetime Achievement award (Vishakpatnam) Mutthirai Pathitha Award (Karur,Tamil Nadu).