Natarani Amphitheater in Ahmedabad: Redefining sustainable architecture since '94

Natarani Amphitheater in Ahmedabad: Redefining sustainable architecture since '94

Join us as we discover the enchanting intersection of architectural beauty and sustainability at Natarani Amphitheater in Ahmedabad

Natarani Amphitheater proudly stands as a state-of-the-art performance space of the Darpana Academy. Perched on the western banks of Sabarmati, it not only showcases architectural magnificence but also embodies a genuine commitment to sustainability with its ingenious use of recycled bricks and exquisite China mosaic craftsmanship.

It is an artistic haven, surrounded by lush greenery, art installations, paintings, and the delightful melodies of birds that call this campus home. The stage of this remarkable theater has borne witness to a myriad of awe-inspiring performances, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of artists and audiences alike.

Join us on a mesmerizing journey as we delve into the tapestry of Natarani's captivating legacy.

How it all began

The tale of Natarani takes roots from the dream of Mrinalini Sarabhai, who yearned for a creative sanctuary in Ahmedabad where all forms of performing arts could flourish. Joined by her partner, Vikram Sarabhai, she founded the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, a venerable institution dedicated to the teaching of classical Indian dances, theater, puppetry, and musical instruments.

Over time, the academy blossomed into an international center of excellence, attracting celebrated artists from across the globe, their talents intertwining with the academy's growth.

Making of the amphitheater

The artists required a stage befitting of their immense talent. In 1994, Mallika Sarabhai, daughter of Mrinalini, and a distinguished choreographer and dancer, assumed the role of director at the Academy. Entrusting the realization of her vision to the skilled designer Kriti Shah, they conjured the awe-inspiring Natarani Amphitheater, a stage that would witness an unfolding revolution of art.

Though a portion of the stage fell victim to the riverfront project's development, it was revamped and triumphantly reopened its doors to the city in 2018, resuming its rightful place as a symbol of artistic magnificence.

Architectural brilliance and sustainability

Beyond its captivating beauty, this theater has a remarkable synergy with nature. The walls and seats, meticulously crafted from recycled red bricks and adorned with terracotta-colored ceramic tiles, intertwine seamlessly with the dark, charcoal-gray lime-plastered walls.

Employing a system for passive cooling, the theater ensures optimal thermal comfort for its audience. They also eschewed conventional cement in favor of an ingenious blend of jaggery and limestone.

By embracing these eco-friendly practices, Natarani stands not only as a beacon of sustainability but also as a testament to the enduring connection between humanity and the natural world.

Their aim

Darpana Academy remains unwavering in its commitment to instigating social change and exploring the boundless possibilities of the performing arts. With steadfast resolve, the academy endeavors to unearth the most hidden and unique art forms of the nation, spearheading the modernization of Indian theater and nurturing a space where indigenous arts can evolve.

Countless luminaries have launched their illustrious careers within these sacred walls or graced the stage of Natarani, including the likes of Kailash Pandya, Madhu Rye, Hasmukh Baradi, Shrikant Shah, and many more, their contributions immortalized in the annals of artistic brilliance.

We recommend embarking on a guided tour, offered between 2 and 4 P.M., to delve into the rich history woven into every fiber of this extraordinary place and explore the enchanting art gallery and Café Natrani.

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