Bharatanatyam is the oldest classical dance tradition in India. Mentioned in ancient texts and immortalized in temple sculptures, the dance became the preserve of devadasis, until in the beginning of the 20th century, it was revived and brought out from the temple onto the performance stage by artists such as Rukmini Devi Arundale and T. Balasaraswati. At our Online Talk #Bharatanatyam, Balasaraswati’s grandson, Aniruddha Knight , will recount the rich history of one of South India’s oldest continual family artistic legacies - nine generations who have devoted themselves to the dance - and share instances that have been significant in the shaping of Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music as we experience them today.
About the speaker:
Aniruddha Knight is the grandson of T. Balasaraswati, the world-famous dancer, and the first male dancer in nine generations of one of India’s most distinguished families of professional performing artists. He is acknowledged today in India and the US as a mature and eloquent interpreter of the family style of Bharatanatyam associated with his grandmother. Aniruddha began his career as a vocalist for his mother during the 1990’s, presented his debut dance concert in India in 1994 and made his American debut at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1997. Knight lives and teaches in Chennai. His school of performing arts, the Balasaraswati Institute, provides instruction in dance, music and performance etiquette at both basic and advanced levels to children who would otherwise have no access to such training.