Dance teacher Selvarani

Elaborate arrangements have been made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Wattala Kalaithenral Natiya Kala Nilayam which falls on April 9 (Sunday). This institute is a dance academy and has rendered yeoman service to society by promoting and teaching Barathanatyam.

According to Selvarani, the dancer teacher of the school, a series of celebrations will be held on this day at the Pragash Natpani Manaram in Wattala. As many as 75 students of the institute have been listed to be bestowed with honours. Twenty five students among them will receive special awards.

Selvarani told the Nation in an interview that many kids love to learn Barathanatyam, but the lack of finances distances them from reaching this goal. The dance school run by Selvarani has as a result offered free classes to the less affluent. She takes this opportunity to appeal to philanthropists who love dance and music to help these kids who wish to learn at the academy but can’t pay the academy fee.

Selvarani is a pupil of dancing teacher Padmini who now resides in Canada and is a lecturer at a leading university in Canada. She acknowledged that there is a perception in society that Bharathanatyam is for rich people, but she took this opportunity to offer a different view. “Dance can be learnt by people from all walks of life. As a teacher we teach anybody regardless of religion, class and creed. Even language barriers don’t matter when learning dance,” she said.

She also went on to state that learning art will help develop a peaceful society.

Selvarani also aired her views on a popular notion that males who do dance develop certain feminine mannerisms. “This is not true. There is a total misunderstanding here. There are so many male artistes in Jaffna and in India. Famous Tamil actors like Kamalhasan and Prabbhudeva are very good dancers. We don’t see any female nature in them?” she responded with a counter question.

She encourages people to take to dance and be happy.