One of the oldest dance institutions in Delhi, Natya Ballet Centre has been advocating, promoting celebrating the arts to fulfill its mission to present and support the very best in the world of dance. The Centre has been an incubator for artistic development of young talent. Through its various projects, it is committed to provide the arts in the city with an independent and informal forum, where artists can connect to exchange experience, opinion and establish a constant dialogue between their art and the public.
The Natya Ballet Centre was founded in 1960 to present a varied repertoire of Indian dance based on mythology to render contemporary interpretations from a rich heritage of lore. It synthesized classical and folk styles of dance and theatre into innovative dance drama. Under the aegis of its founder Smt. Kamala Lal, the Natya Ballet Centre began with a dynamic and inspired team including Anil Biswas, Bhagwandas Verma, Sunar Chand, Maya Rao, Usha Venkateswaran, Tapas Sen and Meena Kapoor. Together they imbued their creative energies into the heart of the repertory producing legendary ballets like Krishna Leela, Tulsi ke Ram, Ram Leela, Bhakta Surdas, Dances of India and Venkateswara Vilasam.
The Centre’s best productions in these years included the Ramleela which ran every year for 25 years at Ajmeri Gate Ramleela Grounds till the late 80s and the Krishna Leela which performed more than 700 shows in India and abroad. In the 1970s, the Ministry of Culture commissioned a production on ‘Family Planning’ which ran 800 shows in small villages and districts across India.
In the late 90’s, the Centre gave a platform to many artists such as Aditi Mangaldas, Manjari Chaturvedi, Navtej Johar and Daksha Seth who today, are some of the best known dancers in the country. In recent years, the Centre has created a new repertoire of performances including contemporary and classical works. Our production “Draupadi” was invited to perform at the Khajuraho Dance Festival this year, while “Nirvana” on the life of Gautam Buddha, was sent to various countries by ICCR.
The Natya Ballet Centre is proud of its heritage and continues to strive for excellence.