Early Life of Saroja Vaidyanathan
Born in 1937 in Bellary, Andhra Pradesh, Shrimati Saroja Vaidyanthan took her initial training in Bharatanatyam under Shrimati Lalitha at Saraswati Gana Nilayam in Chennai. She was later a student of the well-known guru Kattumannar Muthukumaran Pillai of Thanjavur. She also studied Carnatic music under Professor P. Sambamoorthy at Madras University, and obtained a D.Litt in dance from the Indira Kala Sangeet Viswavidyalaya, Khairagarh.
Career of Saroja Vaidyanathan
Shrimati Saroja Vaidyanathan has climbed up the ladders of establishment today among the leading Bharatanatyam teachers of the country. She is the founder-director of Ganesa Natyalaya, a dance institution in Delhi, where she has trained a large number of young dancers. Some of her students are among the leading artists of the younger generation. She has traveled widely within the country and outside to participate in prestigious dance festivals. She has authored several books on dance and music including The Science of Bharatanatyam, Carnataka Sangeetham, Bharatanatyam: An In-depth Study, and Classical Dances of India. Recently A documentary film on her work has been directed which Media Craft Production has produced.
She has choreographed and presented several dance-dramas based on mythology and social themes, besides presenting Padams, Bhajans, Kirtanams, Shlokas, Namavalis of various saints and great composers of several Indian languages.
Her two audio cassettes of songs based on Mahakavi Subramania Bharati's poems Vol.I & II and one volume of her two CDs based on his poems on women and patriotism were released in 1982 and 2005. She is the Founder-President of Ganesa Natyalaya, a premier classical dance institution in Delhi with its own building where she teaches dance.
One of India's prominent Bharatanatyam exponents Saroja Vaidyanathan has been attributed the title of an adept dancer, guru, choreographer, and author. She started learning at age seven from the accomplished Guru Lalitha of Saraswati Gana Nilayam, Chennai. She is the third- generation disciple of the famous Guru Kattumannar Tanjavur Muthukumaran Pillai.
She has received worldwide acclaim for her dance recitals and repertoire and been teaching Bharatanatyam for the past four decades in the ancient Guru-Shishya tradition. Her innovative choreography has not only yielded several enthralling ballets based on mythology and social themes, it has also attracted a lot of young talent to the dance form.
Her institute, Ganesa Natyalaya, in New Delhi, boasts of students from both India and abroad. Travelled widely in India and abroad, Saroja Vaidyanathan's recent works include a Bharatanatyam segment for XIX Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony and compositions on Rabindranath Tagore's poems as part of the poet's 150th anniversary celebrations.