As an essential part of its Outreach efforts, Kalakshetra planned to work towards making the education in arts accessible to children from economically backward sections of society with the aim of nurturing awareness, appreciation and sensitivity towards the arts. This was planned with the larger aim of empowering young people from less privileged backgrounds through the arts and creating a channel for their inclusivity in the mainstream.
Towards this, Kalakshetra decided to work in tandem with an NGO Aanmajothi, to introduce and initiate year-long Bharatanatyam classes in four underprivileged schools in Chennai during the first year, with the assistance of the Chennai Corporation.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Kalakshetra and Aanmajothi at a small function held on 2nd April 2012 at ITC Park Sheraton by the Rotary Club of Madras East. Classes commenced in four corporation schools in Chennai in August 2014 and a successful year of teaching was completed in April 2015.
Showcase of Students Work from Corporation Schools
A feedback and showcase session was held for the ongoing Outreach program at Chennai’s local schools. 60 students from three of the schools were brought to Kalakshetra campus and given an experience of the campus as well as watching practice and rehearsal sessions in progress. They showcased their own learnings during their visit in the presence of Mr Natarajan (Head of Aanmajothi NGO) and external consultants Ms Priya Murle and Ms Sangeetha Isvaran and interacted with the guests present. This was followed by a detailed feedback session to improve the curriculum and address problem points in logistics and administration. The project in general received a very good response from the guests present and the students from the schools were seen to have achieved solid learnings from the process.
Classes in progress at a state-run school as part of Kalakshetra’s Outreach Project.
The external consultants Smt Priya Murle and Smt Sangeetha Isvaran interacting with the school children, in the presence of their Bharatanatyam teachers (appointed and trained by Kalakshetra)
The school children viewing a dance demonstration performed by Kalakshetra dancers under the Banyan Tree.
The project was extended to six schools in the year 2015-16.
A brief report on the project may be found here.