One could safely state that no one has ever conducted a census of classical dance teachers of the Capital. Just how many are quietly conducting classes from the seclusion of their homes, or, indeed, rented classrooms, and putting their students through the exacting paces of arts like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri and other forms cannot be accurately calculated. But what can be said is that one the whole, such teachers and such activities generate a great deal of happiness and energy among young people and older ones too, by the very nature of this exercise. In the time honoured tradition of Bharatanatyam, students deemed ready to perform as soloists are presented in their arangetram (literally, ascending the stage), an event to which well wishers, friends and relatives of the student and the teacher are invited. In Delhi-NCR, these occasions are looked forward to not only by the parents of the dancer but also her classmates.
This weekend, it is the turn of Sadhvi Sundaresan, who has been learning Bharatanatyam under Guru Kanaka Sudhakar since she was five. After more than a decade of instruction, she now hopes to continue to perfect her art and also, inspired by her guru, to make Bharatanatyam lessons accessible to students who are talented but financially needy.
Sadhvi’s arangetram takes place on April 19 at the Delhi Tamil Sangam, Sector V, Ramakrishnapuram, New Delhi, 6.30 p.m.