R. Visweswaran and Chitra Visweswaran
R.Visweswaran, Carnatic vocalist, composer and exponent of the musical instrument Santoor, and Chitra Visweswaran, one of the foremost exponents of the Indian Classical Dance form - Bharatanatyam.
Biographical Details - Ranganathan Visweswaran hails from a family of musicians and is a nephew of the great Carnatic musician Late Sri G.N.Balasubramaniam, popularly known as GNB. He is a multi faceted personality with the abilty to sing and compose in Carnatic music, play Hindustani music on the Santoor, besides being a self taught Flamenco guitarist.
Singing comes to him naturally and being endowed with a melodious voice he gives vocal accompaniment to his wife's dance recitals. His ability as a composer comes through in the various compositions that he composes and sings in his wife's dance performances.
Visweswaran has been trained to play Hindustani music on the Santoor by the noted Santoor maestro, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, under whom he has been learning for almost a decade. With his guru's blessings he has been giving Santoor performances frequently all over India and abroad.
Some of the highlights of Visweswaran's career include concerts at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, before the President of India Shri R.Venkatraman and other dignitaries, the December Music Festival in Madras, The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, The National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai, and The Sangeeth Research Academy, Calcutta.
He has travelled abroad andgiven performed at UK, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, USA, Australia, and the Middle East. Noteworthy among his concerts abroad are performances at the Munshi Centenary celebrations of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London; the official Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary celebrations in Paris; the Montelimar Festival in France (1990); the Fete de la Musique (International Jazz Festival) in Rouen, France.
He is a graded artist of All India
Radio and has recently released Hindustani Classical CD on Santoor called "in
Contemplation". He has also a second CD called "River Rhythms" Where he
plays the Shathathantri Veena in collaboration with international artist John Neptune
(KAIZAN) and Sakuhasi Flutist of Japan.
Chitra Visweswaran is one of the leading Bharatanatyam dancers in India today - her name has become synonymous with this Southern style of Indian Classical Dance. Trained from a very young age in the pristine purity of this traditional dance style, she has harnessedto it an intellectual quest and aesthetic sensibility which make an individualistic contribution to the genre of Classical Indian Dance.
Still at her peak, nationally and internationally traveled, and reputed as a performer- teacher- choreographer, she runs her institution of dance, " CHIDAMBARAM " at Chennai, where her disciples are given holistic training in classical dance and music. Her husband R.Visweswaran (nephew of the legendary Carnatic musician, G.N.Balasubramanian and disciple of Santoor maestro Pandi Shivkumar Sharma ) is a Carnatic vocalist-composer. They have together made the pursuit and dissemination of Indian Dance and Music, a way of life.
In recognition of her
contribution to Bharatanatyam, the Government of Tamilnadu has conferred the title,
"Kalaimamani " upon her. She was given the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi
award in 1987 and was conferred the " Padma Shri " by the President of India in
Chitra has recently been invited to occupy the Rabindarnath Tagore Chair of Fine Arts in the University of Madras and is the first dancer to do so.
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