My last solo performance before the pandemic was indeed special. Raza Foundation invited my guru, Smt. Geeta Chandran to select a disciple to present her style and vision of Bharatanatyam. I was the chosen one and was given this wonderful opportunity to perform at the ‘Uttaradhikar’ festival on November 30, 2019, at the India International Centre, New Delhi. On the one hand, I felt highly honoured to be considered a worthy heir to her legacy, but on the other, I was daunted by the responsibility this title brought with it. I worked with Geeta akka for over two months in developing the repertoire for this evening. The entire process of choreographing new pieces and learning a traditional Tanjaur Quartet varnam was an extremely immersive experience, one which I shall cherish for a long time. It was a demanding performance, but I enjoyed every second of it and was very relieved to catch glimpses of my guru smiling on stage as she did the nattuvangam that evening.
The following is a review of the performance by critic Manjari Sinha published on December 7, 2019, in The Statesman:
“The next evening showcased a mesmerising Bharatanatyam performance by Sneha Chakradhar, a brilliant disciple of Guru Geeta Chandran. Introducing her disciple Chandran said Sneha has imbibed all aspects of dance, delving deep into it. Opening with a verse fro ‘Sringara-Lahiri’, she depicted the Nava-Rasas invoking Devi. Composed by K Venkateshan in Raga-Malika opening with Kalyani, this captivating piece was choreographed by Geeta Chandran.
The piece de resistance was the Thanjavur Quartet Varnam in Raga Kambhoji, where the heroine describes the grandeur of her Ishta-Devata Lord Brihadeeshwara to her friend and then requests her to go and fetch her beloved Brihadeeshwara, because the time and atmosphere was just perfect for their union. Sneha demonstrated effortless ease whether it was dancing to the intricate Jathis or emoting the Sahitya with her moving Abhinaya. The love orchestra led by her Guru enhanced Sneha’s dynamic dance.”
Noted hindi critic Ravindra Misra reviewed this performance in the Rashtriya Sahara on December 22, 2019.