Dharani’s new theatre
- V.P. Dhananjayan
July 4, 2016
Sathi-Kamala Hall is the name of the naatyamandapam of Shyamala Surendran’s Dharani that I had the pleasure to inaugurate on 26th June in Ernakulam, Kochi, in memory of her mother Sathidevi and close friend Kamala who inspired and helped her to build this hall. It is a dream come true for Shyamala who started her journey in naatya late in life after fulfilling her household obligations.
This mini theater cum classroom can accommodate 200 people in a residential area and this will serve as a welcome space for classical arts. Ernakulam-Kochi is parched for space to host classical performing arts. This commercial city of fashion and mega malls needed an aesthetic ambience for classical performing arts and Dharani’s new hall provides an aesthetic ambience to put up good music concerts and small group naatya productions, well equipped with stage lighting and audio system. This hall has good acoustics, it needs no amplifiers and the architect can justifiably be proud of designing a much-needed koothambalam like atmosphere in this mini theater.
Shyamala Surendran and the dedicated band of committee members should be congratulated for their achievement. Dharani is like a beacon light now in Kerala establishing a high standard in imparting training in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam and Carnatic music. Dharani’s periodical performances and annual art festival featuring the country’s top artistes are praised and looked forward to by the connoisseurs of classical arts in Kochi-Ernakulam area.
Shyamala says that now Dharani can present young talents and periodical lecture demonstrations of educative values without hiring big halls in the city with exorbitant hire charges with nil built-in facilities. It is indeed a great achievement for a woman of substance whose vision and mission is only to serve the art and community through her performing arts.
Bharatanatyam Guru V.P. Dhananjayan is the founder-director of Bharatakalanjali in Chennai.