Embarking on a Journey of Grace and Tradition: Learning Bharatanatyam Dance at Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage


Nestled in the heart of Chennai, the Kalakshetra Foundation stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of India. Established by the visionary Rukmini Devi Arundale, this institution has played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting Indian classical arts, particularly the timeless dance form of Bharatanatyam. Learning Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra Foundation is an experience that transcends the physical act of dance, delving deep into the roots of tradition and spirituality.

The Legacy of Kalakshetra Foundation

Kalakshetra, which translates to “Temple of Art,” was founded in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale, a renowned dancer, and visionary. Her passion for the revival of Bharatanatyam and her commitment to maintaining the authenticity of this classical dance form gave birth to this institution. Kalakshetra’s aim is to preserve and propagate India’s cultural heritage, and it has done so diligently for over eight decades.

The Traditional Gurukula System

One of the distinctive features of learning Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra Foundation is the adherence to the Gurukula system, an ancient Indian tradition where students live with their guru, immersing themselves completely in the learning process. At Kalakshetra, the Guru-Shishya parampara (teacher-student relationship) is sacred, fostering a profound connection between the students and their teachers.

The Guru, in this case, is often a seasoned artist and performer who imparts not only the technical aspects of the dance but also the history, philosophy, and cultural significance behind each movement. This comprehensive approach to learning Bharatanatyam ensures that students receive a well-rounded education that transcends the physicality of dance.

Immersive Training

Kalakshetra Foundation offers a rigorous and immersive training program that is deeply rooted in tradition. Students at Kalakshetra are expected to dedicate themselves to the art form, often undergoing long hours of practice and theoretical learning. The curriculum encompasses various aspects of Bharatanatyam, including:

  1. Nritta (Pure Dance): This segment focuses on the intricate footwork and rhythmic patterns that form the core of Bharatanatyam.
  2. Abhinaya (Expression): Kalakshetra places significant emphasis on the emotional and storytelling aspects of the dance, ensuring that students master the art of expression.
  3. Music and Rhythm: Understanding the musical nuances and rhythm is crucial in Bharatanatyam. Students receive training in Carnatic music, which complements their dance skills.
  4. Yoga and Physical Fitness: Maintaining physical fitness and flexibility is a vital component of the curriculum.
  5. History and Theory: Students delve deep into the historical and theoretical aspects of Bharatanatyam, gaining a holistic understanding of the art form.

Performances and Showcases

A significant part of learning Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra is the opportunity to showcase one’s talent. The institution regularly hosts performances and events that allow students to display their skills and share their devotion to the art. These platforms not only build the confidence of the students but also enable them to connect with the audience, communicating stories and emotions through their dance.

Spiritual and Cultural Enlightenment

Kalakshetra Foundation goes beyond teaching mere dance steps. It seeks to provide students with a spiritual and cultural experience. The tranquil surroundings of the campus, with its traditional architecture and lush greenery, create an environment that encourages self-reflection and a deeper understanding of the art’s spiritual dimensions.


Learning Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, is not just about acquiring dance skills; it is an immersive journey into the heart of India’s cultural and spiritual heritage. The Gurukula system, the comprehensive curriculum, and the emphasis on tradition and spirituality make it one of the most prestigious institutions for Bharatanatyam in the world. For those who seek to immerse themselves in the beauty and grace of this classical art form, Kalakshetra Foundation is a sacred temple of learning that continues to uphold its legacy with utmost devotion and commitment.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

But Mala doesn't stop at just sharing her own thoughts and ideas. She welcomes constructive criticisms and suggestions to improve her blog and make it even more impactful. And if you share her passion for India's culture and heritage, she extends a warm invitation for high-quality guest blog posts.

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