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The History and growth of Kalakshetra Foundation

Tamil Nadu’s famous arts and cultural academy Kalakshetra Foundation’s 69th annual art festival was held from December 20, 2022, to January 1, 2023.

Sreevidhya Rajeev /Chennai , Jan 16 (BPNS)

Tamil Nadu’s famous arts and cultural academy Kalakshetra Foundation’s 69th annual art festival was held from December 20, 2022, to January 1, 2023. The annual art festival was conducted every year with different variety of programs comprises of popular dance dramas and concerts by well-known artists from all over India staged during this celebration.

Kalakshetra Foundation is a Chennai-based Arts and Cultural Academy established in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale and her husband George Arundale. Prominent musicians and artists were part of this institution.  Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian theosophist, dancer, and designer of Bharatanatyam. She was the first Indian woman to be nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha. In 1944, the University of Madras granted its affiliation for conducting diploma courses in Music, Dance and Painting & Crafts. An act of the Parliament of India accepted the Kalakshetra Foundation as an “Institute of National Importance. In 1962 Kalakshetra moved to a new campus which is located at Besant Nagar, Chennai. The academy is dedicated to the preservation of traditional values in Indian art and crafts, mainly in the field of Bharatanatyam dance and Gandharvaveda music. The founder Rukmini Devi Arundale developed  her own, Kalakshetra, style of Bharatanatyam. Which is unique in style and also introduced group performances and staged different Bharatanatyam based ballets that reflects the extraordinay style of a dance form.

The Kalakshetra Foundation contributed many legendry artists, musicians and dancers to the world of art. The notable personalities are Dhananjayans (Vannadil Pudiyaveettil Dhananjayan  and Shanta Dhananjayan) are popular dancing couple in India, honured with Padma Bhushan in 2009.

Sanjukta Panigrahi  was an Odissi dancer, she was involved  in dancing and associated activities  In 1975  she was honoured with one of India’s highest civilian awards , Padma Shri  and also received Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1976.  She died in 24 June 1997 at the age of 52.

C. V. Chandrasekhar is a  Bharatanatyam dancer, academician, dance scholar, composer, and choreographer. He retired as Head of the Faculty of Performing Arts of M.S. UniversityBaroda in 1992. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Bharatnatyam in 1993 and received the Kalidas Samman Award , he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.

Amala Akkineni is a famous actress, Bharatanatyam dancer. Who mainly played notable roles in Tamil cinema and part of Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, and Kannada language films.  She has also won two Film Fare Awards South which is considered as a sign of her acting skill.

Jaya Thyagarajan is a traditional Indian artist well known for her Tanjore paintings. Jaya’s paintings were selected for the Traditional Art exhibition held by the All India Fine arts and Crafts Society in 1989 and 2000.  Apart from this, there are so many talented artists who started their professional careers at this great academy.