Renowned dancer and President of Sanskar Bharati Delhi Chapter, Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan, passed away. She was born in 1937 in Bellary, Karnataka and received her initial training in Bharatanatyam at the Saraswati Gana Nilayam in Chennai. Later she studied under Guru Kattumannar Muthukumaran Pillai in Thanjavur. She also pursued a study in Karnataka music under the guidance of Professor P Sambamurthy at Madras University and earned her D.Litt. in dance from the Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh.
Her parents were authors. Her mother, Kanakam Dharmarajan was a famous Tamil writer. Saroja Vaidyanathan was married to Vaidyanathan, an IAS officer from the Bihar cadre. They have a son, Kamesh, and their daughter-in-law, Rama Vaidyanathan, is also a renowned Bharatanatyam artist of international acclaim. In 1974, Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan established the “Ganesha Natyalaya,” where students were not only taught dance but also Tamil, Hindi, and Karnataka music. As a practitioner of the guru-shishya tradition, she introduced her students to the comprehensive understanding of Bharatanatyam along with Indian art and cultural traditions.
Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan served as the President of “Sanskar Bharati,” a pan-Indian organisation working in the fields of art and literature, for the Delhi Chapter since 2021. She actively guided and contributed to the organisation’s activities. In recognition of her significant contributions to the fields of art and dance, she was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2002 and the Padma Bhushan in 2013. Additionally, she received awards such as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Delhi Government’s Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, and numerous other prestigious accolades. In 2006, she was honored with the title “Bharat Kala Sudar” (Purifier of Indian Art).
The executive committee and all members of “Sanskar Bharati” Delhi Chapter paid heartfelt tribute to this great patron of the art and culture.