Komala Varadan Performing in Athens

1 October 2007 at Athens, Cholargos

Dancer, choreographer, painter, photographer and author, Komala Varadan performed  recently at the World Dance Congress in Athens for third consecutive year. One of 1000 artistes who participated in the gala event organised by the International Dance Council — an umbrella organisation under UNESCO. 

Talking about her experience in Athens, the Padma Shri awardee says: “Such competitions widen your horizon. It is such a pleasure to exchange notes with so many people. Some of the dances may not have that classical or mystical touch, but there is so much of hard work that goes into a performance. All this one realises only when you see the dance.”

Apart from Mrs. Varadan’s, there were ten other Bharatanatyam recitals and one Odissi dance performance during the event. “Indian culture is so popular abroad. There was one Bharatanatyam dancer from Greece. I did not even know that people in Greece were aware of this Indian dance form!” she says. 

Last year, when she was invited by the Hellenic-Indian Society of Culture and Development (ELINEPA) to perform at the Cultural Center of Cholargos Municipality,  Ms. Varadan had also given a lecture-demonstration on one of her renowned recitals titled “Prakritim Vande” (A Salutation to Nature) where she combines her talent in dance and photography in a tribute to Mother Nature. The video version of “Prakritim Vande” had won a “Certificate of Special Merit” at the International Film Festival on Nature organised by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). 

Mrs. Varadan, who was nine when she gave her maiden performance, has the distinction of performing at the United Nations building in New York. She was the first dancer to conceptualise and choreograph “Ram Charit Manas” as a solo Bharatanatyam presentation that was later produced in the form of a book. She has also been running an institute in Delhi — Kalaikoodam — for promotion of arts, literature and culture for the past 23 years. While she herself teaches Bharatanatyam at the institute, she has been instrumental in organising talks, seminars and cultural programmes. “The art and culture of India is a treasure that has endured onslaughts of many kinds. However, I wish the youth and more so their parents feel more passionately about this and take dance more seriously. They still give importance to academics over fine arts,” she rues.

Courtesy:   NEW FRONTIERS: Multi-faceted artiste Komala Varadan performing at the World Dance Congress in Athens recently by Parul Sharma.