THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was a dream nurtured years ago by two exceptionally talented artists. A dream to build a cradle for art, which will encourage all art forms; a platform where you breathe and live art. Six years ago, dancer Sharada Thampi and musician Lekshmi Rangan set the ball rolling in the cultural milieu by offering a stage for learning classical dance and music. And thus, Kalaangan Centre for Dance and Music was born.
A platform which placed no restrictions on age, Kalaangan drew into its fold anyone with a passion to learn the classical art forms of dance and music. The dance and music academy has given wings to the dreams of countless art enthusiasts. Six years hence, as the academy celebrated its anniversary the other day, the city witnessed a grand cultural treat.
For two days, several students performed their rangapravesh, while regailing the crowd with a visual treat.
The idea of dance school was born while both the artists were working at Christ Nagar School as dance and music teachers. “It was envisioned as a platform that will create artists; where all kinds of art get promoted. We started as a dance and music school,” says Sharada,co-director of the academy. Now, the duo is all geared up to realise its dream, as they launch the all-encompassing art centre in the city.
“Now, we are moving towards an arena where all art enthusiasts can come and learn. We will be relaunching as an art centre, where all forms of art thrive,” she says. The centre will also hold workshops where artists will be hosted and it will serve as a stage for the exchange of art and ideas.The academy’s sixth-anniversary celebration also saw 23 students performing their arangettam in Carnatic music. It was a memorable event for the two artists.
“Our students who have been learning music for the past seven years could take the stage and perform their arangettam. What we follow here is a gurukul system of teaching, retaining the tradition. We teach the students as we were taught, keeping all the ideals,” says Lekshmi, playback singer and co-director of the academy. “We also give space to the students and they aren’t pressured. Most students come here taking time out from their busy school and tuition schedules. Art relaxes them,” says Lekshmi.
The academy also has classes for adults. “In the case of adults, we go at their own pace. Anyone who desires to learn art should get a platform. And so, there are no restrictions for age here,” adds Sharada.