Education Plus

Bharatanatyam for all

Kalai Kaviri Distance Education Degree Programme in Bharathanatyam in Tiruchi. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Being in any profession, one can still get a degree in Bharatanatyam. There is no age restriction either. Thanks to the vision of the Late Rev. Msgr. S.M. George, who founded the Kalai Kaviri's Off-campus Degree Programme of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi, and functioned as the first director. The Gurukula art form could acquire an academic facet.

The distance education programme is offered through Kalai Kaviri's Co-ordinating Study Centres in Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur in India; and in Sri Lanka (Colombo and Jaffna).

Vallu Renjin Raghavan, a first-year Bachelor of Fine Arts student based in Mumbai, is delighted that the course could make her childhood dream materialise. And so is the case of Vaijayanthi Mala from Madurai, who was 56 years old when she did her Master's in Fine Arts programme.

Aparna, a New Delhi-based student with diploma qualification, adds: “What IIT is to Technology and IIM is to Management, certainly Kalai Kaviri is to Bharathanatyam.”

Directors of dance academies, dance teachers, those employed in full-time jobs, school teachers, heads of departments in colleges, Ph.D. holders in other disciplines, doctors, engineers, IT professionals, students undergoing degree courses in other disciplines in the regular colleges, and housewives, have enrolled for the university Diploma, B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) degree courses in Bharathanatyam, through this Distance Education Programme, according to J.A. Sarumathy, Dean of Administration, Kalai Kaviri Distance Education Degree Programme in Bharathanatyam, Bharathidasan University.

The strength of this Distance Education Programme (during the academic year 2010 - 2011) is 291 students. So far, a total of 284 students: 48 B.F.A. students in the four batches, and 133 M.F.A. students in the five batches, have graduated.

During the last seven years, 758 students from Tamil Nadu in India, Puducherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarath, New Delhi, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and from countries like Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Oman, Dubai, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Reunoin, Canada and United States of America had enrolled in the programme, the Dean said.

According to Bharghavi Krishna, (M.F.A. old student), Chennai, “All the study materials are sent to us well in advance with excellent illustrative cassettes and CDs through which self-learning is enhanced. The contact classes are systematically organised; the teachers teach with great patience and clear all doubts.”

The exhaustive study materials given in CDs (audio and video) and printed books, the meticulous and efficient teaching in the contact classes, the assignments, seminars and dissertation work, mark the high standard of this programme which have earned great appreciation among the students.

NRI students prefer to come to Tiruchi or Chennai, according to official sources. Gayatri Balagurunathan - Director & Performance Manager, Krishnanjali, Chennai, who did M.F.A. through this programme, affirms, “No other college except Kalai Kaviri's programme, offers so many options for eligibility, to enable artistes with different background, to get a degree in this art.”

Rev. Fr. L.Anthuvan, the present Director of the Distance Education Degree Programme in Bharathanatyam, said: “The college is known for its high professional standard, faculty, infrastructure, etc. to meet the requirements of remarkable academic levels. The mission of the college is to promote Indian traditional dance and music in their pristine purity, with a visionary focus and to enable the socially and economically backward groups to master these prestigious art forms to attain better social and economic status, bringing them into the mainstream of society.”

He added: “Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, nationally accredited with ‘A' Grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Committee, and aided by the Government of Tamil Nadu, is the first in the entire southern region of the country to offer UG, PG, M.Phil. and Ph.D. Programmes in Dance (Bharathanatyam) and South Indian Classical Music.”

Eligibility

A graduate in any other discipline with proficiency in full Maargam (practical and theory) in Bharathanatyam, can take a ‘Special Eligibility Test' both in theory and practicals, conducted by the Kalai Kaviri Off-campus Degree programme, pass the same and join M.F.A. directly in the same academic year; B.F.A. and M.F.A. courses in Bharathanatyam can be done concurrently or simultaneously by students undergoing other UG or PG degree courses in other disciplines in the regular colleges.

Even those who do not have a Plus Two, but have passed Class X and have a Diploma in Bharathanatyam according to the specifications of the university or if they have 10 years' experience in teaching Bharathanatyam, can join B.F.A.

Those with a pass in Plus Two and working as dance teachers with 10 years of teaching experience in Bharathanatyam, can join the 2nd year of the 3-year B.F.A. degree course through Lateral Entry.


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Printable version | Jul 22, 2021 4:52:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/bharatanatyam-for-all/article2292360.ece

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