Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) is a welcome addition to Hyderabad’s cultural scene

CCRT has carved a niche among connoisseurs as a multidisciplinary space promoting music and dance events

April 27, 2023 04:42 pm | Updated 04:54 pm IST

Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh concert (file photo)

Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh concert (file photo) | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

It has been more than 12 years since the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) opened its doors in Hitec City, Hyderabad. Established as one of four regional centres in India, it is an autonomous organisation under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, which has been designed to train teachers.

View of the open-air auditorium

View of the open-air auditorium | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In 2014, a 900-seater, open-air amphitheatre was built on this four-acre land, thus gradually transitioning the Centre into a multidisciplinary space that promotes music, dance and cultural events. CCRT charges ₹10,000 per day and permits only shows that propagate culture, says consultant Y Chandrasekhar. It is not open to ticketed shows or private functions.

CCRT’s cultural calendar might not be as packed as Ravindra Bharathi or Shilparamam, but has over the years it has carved a niche among its patrons. Apart from arangetrams (debut of dancers) and classical dance and music concerts, it has hosted various big-ticket programmes right from the annual Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeeth Samaroh to the recent three-day thematic festival Ramayana Kalpavrksam.

Located just onekilometre away from the HiTec city metro station, CCRT boasts a serene, green ambience with ample parking space. “The audience can soak in the environs and enjoy programmes without any disturbance,” says Chandrasekhar. The administrative block includes a library with 3,000 books on music, dance and culture, a 1,400-square-foot art gallery and a conference hall. The attached hostel has 45 rooms where teachers who participate in camps and artists can stay and a dining hall and spacious green rooms leading to the sprawling amphitheatre . While the centre hosted 10 events in 2021-2022 due to the pandemic, the number went up to 45 in 2022 as soon as restrictions were lifted.

A decade and more

For the last 10 years, CCRT has been hosting the Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh. “Earlier, we were organising the festival at Nizam College and then at Chowmahalla Palace. When Kishan Rao,special officer, told us about CCRT, I wondered who would come so far,” recalls Durga Jasraj, who visited the place along with Neeraj Jaitley to do a recce. With no amphitheatre back then, the canteen building and parking lot doubled as a stage and seating for the audience.

Kuchipudi dancer Sravya Manasa 

Kuchipudi dancer Sravya Manasa  | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Kuchipudi dancer Sravya Manasa looks forward to May 28 when 120 dancers of Sumadhura Dance Academy present a summer showcase at CCRT. Ever since she conducted a summer dance workshop in 2022, she wanted to perform here. Having performed at different venues in Hyderabad, Sravya, founder of the Academy, feels CCRT scores on account of its open-air auditorium. “Shilparamam gives its open-air auditoriums for free during weekends but performers have to wait for slots and performances have to be presented during the time provided. At CCRT, we get more time.”

Audience at Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh concert (file photo)

Audience at Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh concert (file photo) | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Durga feels CCRT benefits from its location, which has residents drawn from across India. “Hyderabad’s growth in recent years has made it a global city with a global audience, It is futuristic.” Curating a festival to cater to this international audience is also tough, she observes. “Since our festival is a non-ticketed event, we don’t have to please anyone but Bapuji (late Pandit Jasraj) who wanted everyone to come.”

With plans to construct a Sangeet Natak Akademi building including a 500-seater indoor auditorium soon, CCRT aims to grow into a vibrant multicultural hub.

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