Anuram Dance Academy
Anuram Dance Academy was founded in the year 2001 by Shreelekha, Shreedevi and Aditi Mehta the three sisters from Mumbai. The academy is named after their parents Ansuya and Ramesh Mehta who took keen interest in the cultural upbringing of the three sisters. Shreedevi besides being a consulting homeopath has undergone a training in Hindustani classical music.
Shreelekha and Aditi are both bharatnatyam Dancers and senior disciples of Natyakala Saraswati Smt Jayalakshmi Alva , the first student of Guru K.N. Dandayudhpani Pillai. The legendry Guru Dandayudhpani pillai was not only a Nattuvanar par excellence but also a poet and a composer. He belonged to the family of noted musicians and a self taught Dancer. He was awarded Padma Shri in the year 1971. The list of his disciples besides Jayalakshmi includes many prominent names like Vayajayantimala, Jaylalita, Srividya to mention a few. His style of dancing came to be known as ‘Dandyudhpani Bani’ which is known for the executing the dance form with precision purity and grace.
His composition of Jathis are both difficult yet beautiful in its rendering. Songs he composed are very popular even today with serious practitioners of this form. He composed varnams for different age groups which was never done before he was of the opinion that the young girls doing the varnam with central theme of shringara would be both unnatural and unbecoming to the child’s sensitivity hence he composed special varnam with love for parents as the theme. Similarly for little older girls pure bhakti themes worked out. Guru Jayalakshmi Alva has imbibed most of the qualities of her mentor. and today is one of the finest female Nattuvnars in the country. Her handling of the nattuvangam and the rendition of jathis has a typical stamp of the Vadyar as she would call him. Just like her Guru she is strict disciplinarian with keen eye on perfection, her students strive hard just to get that approving nod from her.
- To popularize the style and compositions of their Guru Natyakala Saraswati Smt. Jayalakhmi Alva in order to preserve this dance style in its traditional and pure form.
- To spread the joy of dancing amongst the ladies of all age groups.
- To teach Classical dance as fitness funda as it involves not only physical fitness but strengthens the mind and improves co-ordination of mind and body.
Courses at Anuram Dance Academy
1. Full course of “Margam”
2. Fitness programme “Step to Shape”
3. Folk Dances Gujarat
Course duration of Bharat Natyam training is minimum 5 years.
Class Timings :
Monday and Friday: 5pm to 7pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 12 noon.
You can fill the enrollment form online here:
Natyakala Saraswati Smt Jayalakshmi Alva
Smt Jayalakshmi Alva Started her dancing career at the age of thirteen . she became a teacher in Darpana dance academy of Mrinalini Sarabhai at Ahmedabad at the age of 17. Travalled widely with the Darpana troupe she played many important roles in the dance ballets presented in India and abroad.
Her technique combines the vigour and the grace true to the spirit of this dance style. After her initial training under the able tutelage of Guru Danudhpani Pillai she perfected The Bhavam aspect under none other than Smt.Swarnam Saraswaty noted for her abhinya.
After her marriage with shri Ramakrishna Alva she made Mumbai her home.Both Ramkrishna Alva and Jayalaksmi Alva were dedicated dancers. They started the Chitrmbalam dance centre, the dance institution which played pivotal role on the then Bombay cultural scene. While in Mumbai they created dance ballets like Chitrambalam kurvanji, krishna tulabharam, Krishna kirtan, Ramayana to mention a few. They trained disciples like Waheeda Rehaman, Jabeen, Sonal Mansigh, Maya kulkarni, Shreelekha Mehta, Aditi Mehta, Dr. Rekha Shah, Parul Sura Veena Sheety and others.
Alvas moved to their home town Mangalore in early seventies and started Sridevi Nritya Kendra which is keeping this traditional dances form in its pristine glory thereby doing excellent service to the field of Dance.
History of Indian Classical Dancing
Bharata Natyam is one of the most popular form of Indian classical dance forms nurtured in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is based on Natyshastra, treatise written by the great sage Bharata. Bharata Natyam comprise of words “bha”, “ra” and “ta” representing each of “bhava”(expression),”raga”(musical mode) and “tala”(rhythm). It is at the same time the art of the stage, drama, music, poetry, colour and rhythm making it a composite art form touching all the elements of Indian aesthetics. This highly stylized dance form known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.
It has three basic aspects ‘Nritta’,the pure dance comprising ‘Adavus’ or basic steps and movements in the form of patterns of dance which does not convey any meaning. ‘ Nritya’, expressional dance projected through the use of hand gestures and showing emotions on the face and ‘Natya’, the dramatic element.
Tracing its origin in ancient religious, mythological and philosophical concepts, it is originated mainly as a form of worship, the worship throughlove for the divine. Following this traditional concept the dancer, the nayika or heroine is shown pining for the lord and dances are dedicated to the gods of Indian mythology-Shiva Krishna or Rama. Lord Nataraja being the main deity of dance most of the dances are dedicated to him and performed in his praise.
This art form in ancient times was practiced by Devdasis attached to the temples of southern India and it has been handed down from generation to generation as ritualistic dance by them and their families. Besides, through the centuries the Nattuwanars, the dance teachers played important role in propagating preserving and perfecting this art . Essentially a solo dance performed by female artistes this dance form has undergone radical change and in recent time presented in the group choreography form.