Nurturing young talent, the Kalakshetra way
JOHN L PAUL
A unique endeavour that hones the artistic skills among many children.
Photo: S. R Raghunathan.
THE JOYS OF DANCE: Now available to every student.
Hundreds of young artistes from across the State have made it big in dance and art forms, thanks to Kalakshetra, a programme that was initiated in Government-run schools in Kerala. The Higher Secondary Directorate started the endeavour in 2003, aimed at imparting free of cost training to students from economically backward families, in dance and art forms.
The students are trained in Bharatanatyam, Oppana, Thiruvathira, instrumental and classical music. In Ernakulam district, the Government Girls' Higher Secondary School has been selected to play host to Kalakshetra training programmes.
The State-level inauguration of the programme was held 10 days back in the school.
Says E P Piyamma, the school principal, "Only students with basic knowledge of dance and art forms, from class 11 and 12 are chosen.
They are given training for 120 hours, on holidays.
After that they go on for their much-awaited `arangettam'. Many of them have won district and State-level awards and it is a huge boost to their morale.
It also gives them a break from the monotony of studies and preparation for entrance tests." The State Government spends Rs 1 lakh per district for the programme. The school has purchased a few instruments using the funds. A maximum of 20 students are selected for being trained in each art form. Many boys too participate in the training.
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