There are many reasons for learning dance, and there are no right or wrong reasons.
Historically, the dance forms that were the precursors of Bharatanatyam were only practiced by full-time professional dancers. Dance then had a ceremonial function as part of worship in temples. There were no part-time or casual students. Our rigorous training filters out students who are not serious. We place much importance on the development of the dancer’s personality, along with the comprehensive training in technique.
Bharatanatyam is a complete classical art form, and casual explorations of it, will only reveal its surface. It takes a strong commitment from students and teachers to produce artists of a professional calibre. ‘Samyukta’ offers the opportunity for complete training to be a proficient dancer. Serious students may have the desire and dedication to master this art, and they may find fulfilment here. However, students with varying interests who desire to learn as much, but cannot commit all their time, can also perhaps be accommodated. We like to be somewhat flexible, and it might be a good idea to come and discuss the possibilities. ‘At the end of the day’, as the cliché says, it is about chasing one’s dream. Hopefully we can help you realize it.
It is good to give some thought as to why you wish to take up Bharatanatyam, and how deeply you want to pursue it. It’s also good to know your teacher’s priorities. The learning process is most enjoyable when the student and teacher have similar values.
Irrespective of the mode a student takes with us, certain principles apply. These take their roots from our dedication to maintain the authenticity of the form of Bharatanatyam that we promote. This style, developed by the founder of Kalakshetra, embodies refinement and dignity, and emphasizes the spiritual aspect of Indian art. In other words, these values mean we don’t encourage short cuts at the expense of artistic quality, or resort to the crass appeal of contemporary ‘item numbers’, or sound or visual effects to play to the crowd. This doesn’t mean that your experience will be limited or constrained; rather it will be highly enriched.