The world’s first off-campus degree programme in Bharatanatyam offered through a joint venture of Bharathidasan University and Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, Tiruchi, is taking firm root in India and abroad.

For the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts and Diploma courses that are offered under the distance mode, the enrolment is poised to go up to 350 during the current academic year, from 220 last year. Enrolment started with 45 students in 2004-2005. It increased to 62 students in 2005-2006 and 170 in 2006-2007.

Students from Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Assam in India, and from countries such as Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, France, Canada and the United States of America already benefit from these courses.

Those running dance schools, dance teachers, performing artistes, or those employed in any other profession, or doing any degree in any discipline in regular colleges, and housewives have enrolled for these courses.

Reputed cultural centres and art centres in India and abroad seek to be recognised as co-ordinating centres for the Kalai Kaviri Off-Campus Degree Programme.

Says Rev. Msgr. S.M. George, Founder and Director of the Off-Campus Degree Programme, who is also the Founder of Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts belonging to the Catholic Diocese of Tiruchi: “The off-campus programmes have revolutionised the concept of promoting and popularising the fine art forms across barriers.”

Impressed by the concept, Bharatanatyam artiste Saraswathi promoting the cause of fine arts with Padma Vibhushan Dr. Balamuralikrishna for the past 20 years and Director of Vipanchee Natyalaya, Chennai, recommends her students who have dance schools all over the globe for admission to Kalai Kaviri Off-Campus programme.

Eligibility options for joining this programme is of a wide range.

A graduate in any other discipline with proficiency in full Maargam (practical and theory) in Bharatanatyam (but does not have a Diploma in Bharatanatyam from any university or government institution) can take a ‘Special Eligibility Test’ both in theory and practicals, for direct admission to M.F.A.

B.F.A. and M.F.A. courses in Bharathanatyam can be done concurrently or simultaneously by students undergoing other UG and PG degree courses in other disciplines in the regular colleges.

Those with a pass in Class X and ten years of experience in teaching Bharatanatyam can join B.F.A. And those with Plus-Two qualification and teaching experience can join the second of the three-year undergraduation programme through lateral entry.

The website www.kalaikaviri-offcamp.com provides more information. Application forms can also be downloaded.

R. KRISHNAMOORTHY