A lighthouse and symbol of hope amidst the sea of cultural history of Kerala, Kalabhavan stands strong against the pithiness and brevity of time and the socio cultural changes. On September 3rd 1969, Dr. Abel C.M.I founded this institution. But now more than 4000 students are learning various disciplines of fine arts in Kalabhavan. Children aged above 4 years, who are interested in fine arts, are admitted here for training. All kinds of musical instruments are provided at Kalabhavan. With time Kalabhavan has earned the remarkable distinction of imparting training to almost 60000 students in the various branches of music and related arts. Several dancers who received training from Kalabhavan are presently employed in music troupes of repute, broadcasting, stage performances and telecasting networks. Some of them have also left their indelible mark of excellence on the silver screen and the small screen.
Kalabhavan is managed by an elected committee and their decisions are executed through the team of office staff. Kalabhavan promotes cultural talents, on a scale that was never before attempted by any other organisation, government or public. All facilities for them are arranged under one roof so that they can receive training in every possible facility. In fact it was Kalabhavan that made the sphere of art and culture reachable to the common man at an affordable charge than the other dance academies. At present, too, Kalabhavan provides opportunities for students of all economic background.
Nrityagram, holds a special place amidst the dance academies as it is India's first modern Gurukul (residential school), that was set up by Odissi danseuse Protima Gauri in 1990. Situated 35 km away from Bangalore, Nrityagram mainly trains students in Indian classical dance styles, namely Odissi, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Manipuri.
It is amidst the lap of Mother Nature that the dancers practice their religion, i.e. art of dance. Being a farsighted woman, she set up Nrityagram in a position where absence of the cacophony of human existence and existential chaos give way to serene silence. In actuality, the students can breathe, eat, sleep, dream, talk, imagine only in forms of dance which becomes their life and in turn they give life to the same. Her aim was to ascertain Nrityagram as a place where dancers' unconstructive, downbeat qualities such as jealousy, small-mindedness, greed and malice will be eliminated and they will be able to embrace their colleagues as sisters and support each other in their path to success. Nrityagram has grown in its build by leaps and bounds and is known today for some of the best ensemble work in the arena of performing arts. The trademark of Nrityagram is perfection in dance along with a high level of good technical support, leading to an absolute presentation.
The current artistic director of Nrityagram is Surupa Sen. Bijayini Satpathy is in charge of the Odissi gurukul. Some of Nrityagram's few but praiseworthy students include, Pavithra Reddy, who has had her solo debut in 2003 and who will be seen again in some solo pieces on a wider platform very soon. She has spent almost 12 years as an inhabited student at Nrityagram, and has learnt under the guidance of Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy. Ayona Bhaduri and Priyambada Patnaik are also successful students at this gurukul. They both joined Nrityagram in 1998 and have been a part of the ensemble since 2001.
Founded by Selvi Pragasam, Indian-Fusion Dance Academy is the place for various dance form tutorial with utmost care. Selvi Pragasam is a renowned dancer and student of Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, Bharathidasan University in Trichy. She has not only been trained in Bharatnatyam but also in various folk dances of India. The group of Indian-Fusion Dance Academy has performed all over India and Europe. One of the recent dance competitions attended by the students is the OSAAT Dance Competitions, where the adult team won the second place.
Established in October of 2006 the school has witnessed the changing phases of monsoon blues and the rapturous winds of time. Besides, Selvi Pragasam, Rupinder has also joined as a faculty in this institute and enhanced the strength of the talented team of instructors in teaching folk dance forms like Bhangra and Giddha. The classes of folk dances are usually held during the weekends and other classical dance classes are carried throughout the week.
Bharata Kalanjali, located at Adyar in Chennai is an academy of Indian classical dance and music which is reputed for offering coaching in Bharatnatyam as full time course. Part time course and special courses are also offered in Bharatnatyam dance style. Theory classes occupy an important place in the curriculum of dance education at Bharata Kalanjali. The academy also imparts training in Carnatic vocal and instrumental music. Bharata Kalanjali has another branch named "Bhaaskara" at Payannur in Kerala.
The founder members of Bharata Kalanjali are Sri V P Dhananjayan and wife Shanta Dhananjayan who were initially the students of the institute. After establishing their own academy Bharata Kalanjali, the two disciples of the legendary Rukmini Devi of Kalakshetra, have become international celebrities. Bharata Kalanjali had been established in 1968 and since then has trained a number of students who have established themselves in different parts of the world.
Later, Dhananjayan started his independent teaching career with one student named Chitty Lakshmi. However Dhananjayans still lived and taught in the Kalakshetra premises as there was scarcity of obtainable space to set up a class. Chitty was the solitary student who had the opportunity of Dhananjayan going to her house to teach her dance. The Dhananjayans finally moved out of Kalakshetra in 1968 and took up a house at Sastri Nagar.
After facing a tough time, Dhananjayans started Bharata Kalanjali with virtually no base and no financial backing; it was an uphill task for them. The dance class had a thatched roof and Sumathi Meenakshisundaram was the first student. The only support in those times was Shanta's parents. As a dancing couple, they faced many hurdles in the coming year, but they never moved back of their mission to promote Indian dance. They had a lot of ideas and wanted to propagate them as soon as possible. They worked hard to fulfil their aspirations to make their Bharata Kalanjali internationally recognised as one of the premier institutions for dance training.
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