The literal meaning of Nrityagram is ‘Dance Village’. About 35 km away from the hustle – bustle of Bangalore lies this dance village in the midst of green fields, blue lakes and chirping birds. Nrityagram is a dance gurukul, where students and teachers live together and share a wonderful relationship.
Once you enter the premises, an earthy feeling surrounds you. A winding path leads you to the Office cum Visitor centre where a warm welcome and an introduction to the culture of Nrityagram awaits you. The occasional chirping of birds and the footsteps of the dancers in a rhythm, are all that you hear in the peace and serenity. The fresh air is infused with the rhythmic artistic movements of the ‘Odissi’ dance form.
The residential school has all the facilities to nurture talented artists, with beautiful dance studios, residences and common spaces set amongst the greenery.
Nrityagram was founded by the famous dancer Protima Gauri. She wanted to create a gurukul, which is infused with dance.
Here are some thoughts of Protima Gauri.
“I dream of building a community of dancers in a forsaken place amidst nature. A place where nothing exists, except dance. A place where you breathe, eat, sleep, dream, talk, imagine – dance.
– Protima Gauri (October 12,1948 – August 18, 1998)
Nrityagram is open to anyone seeking to experience the dance forms taught there, or just fall in love with the architecture of the place. As a visitor, you will be allowed to watch the dance practice sessions from very close quarters and if you are fortunate enough, you can get an opportunity to be an audience to a stellar performance by the teachers themselves. The vernacular architectural creation by architect Gerard Da Cunha is transcending. The rustic architectural built form and the natural setting is inspiring and conductive of Dance and other performance Art forms.
The folks at Nrityagram are very warm and welcoming. If you love dance and arts, a visit will surely be worth your time. To visit Nrityagram, get in touch with them in advance to inquire whether the dancers would be present that day. The practice sessions usually get over by lunchtime. For lunch, you may head to the Taj Kuteeram just opposite Nrityagram.
First published March 10, 2016