The Nataraj Cultural Centre, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2010, was set up in 1980 and incorporated as a non profit-making society in 1983. The Centre owes its inspiration to the magnificent India International Centre, New Delhi. Its main aims are:
(a) to promote the study and performance of the classical music of India in order to create stronger cultural ties between Australia (and New Zealand) and India;
(b) to look after the cultural needs of settlers from South Asia and of other interested Australians and New Zealanders.
To that end, the Centre provides facilities for the study of both Hindustani and Carnatic music, by way of short-term courses and workshops by eminent visiting musicians.
The Centre’s main arts activity is the SPIRIT of INDIA concerts, which presents India's classical music annually in Australia and New Zealand.
Indian music, Hindustani and Carnatac, has been an integral part of the religious and cultural life of India for over two thousand years, with an elaborate musical theory and literature.
It is purely melodic – it neither needs nor implies harmony.Unlike Western music, Indian music retains its roots in pure melody and rhythm.
Indian classical music is based on the concepts of Raga – the melodic basis of composition and improvisation, and Tala – the rhythmic framework. The rhythmic texture of this music is highly intricate and ornamented with grace notes. It is lyrical and sensual and aims at creating a definite mood.
Since Indian music is not written down, every performance is virtually a new composition, but the musician has to improvise within a well-defined traditional Raga.
“Perhaps the most moving and exciting quality of Indian music is the innocence of its rapture. However sophisticated the means… complex the structure... nothing is lost of the child's freshness of wonder.” Yehudi Menuhin