Founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale in 1936, the Kalakshetra Foundation was established as a space for artistic expression, education and discovery. Stretching out over almost 100 acres, it is one of the most important centres for studying fine arts in South India with a focus on developing Indian values through Bharatnatyam dance and Gandharva Veda music.
Students who come to the Kalakshetra Foundation get to learn dance, music, art along with being part of the Theosophical School. Fun fact - the dance institute was the first one to establish a theoretical syllabus for dancers, and at the Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts, students get to learn dance, music and visual arts.
Did you know there is a form of dance composition that is known as the ‘Kalakshetra Style’? Rukmini Devi created it after adapting the various teaching methods into her classes. Along with it, the property also shares the land with the Besant Arundale Senior Secondary School and Besant Theosophical High School. If you’re a budding artist, make sure you apply! They offer two courses – a four-year Diploma in Dance, Music & Visual Arts and a two-year Post Diploma in Dance and Music. There are also offers for scholarships available.
Built as a school and a foundation for the arts, the Kalakshetra Foundation is so much more! If you haven’t visited the school, you’re missing out on the gorgeous architecture, nature walks and a tour of the campus that allows you to sit in on the classes to get the full South Indian cultural experience.
They have a Heritage Walk (INR 1,500 for adults and INR 70 for children below 12) which is guided, and you get to walk through Kalakshetra, learning about the history of the foundation and the school. You even get to join the Morning Prayer and walk through the Instruments Cottage, Tagore Hall, the Visual Arts Department and the Ayyanar Shrine. And, if you’re lucky, you get to watch the classes as they happen, especially the dance classes under humongous banyan trees For those who just want to walk around on their own (INR 100), you can do that as well.