Kalakshetra Foundation was formerly simply called Kalakshetra. It is basically an arts and cultural academy. The academy was founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale in January 1936. She was supported by her husband George Arundale who was a well-known theosophist. What makes the Kalakshethra Dance School stand apart from other dance schools is their vision. The institution was set into motion not merely for the development of art.The Kalakshetra Foundation has more ambitious goals of holistic development of the future generations. The students are not just taught dance but also educated to become more than artists. Students here are taught to have the right attitude to life and , the right attitude to art. It is believed that such wholesome education and knowledge is essential in order for them to be of great service to our country.
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The institute is dedicated to the preservation of traditional values in Indian art and crafts, especially in the field of Bharatanatyam dance and Gandharvaveda music. It is based out of the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India. The initial campus was established in in Adyar, Chennai, in 1936. It was only in the year 1962 that Kalakshetra moved to a new campus in Besant Nagar, Chennai. The new campus covers a vast expanse of land which comes to approximately 99 acres! The Kalakshetra style is different from the traditional Bharatanatyam. It is noted and can be identified by experts for its angular, straight, ballet-like kinesthetics, and its avoidance of Recakas and of the uninhibited throw (Ksepa) of the limbs. Rukmini Devi was the mastermind behind raising Bharatanatyam to a puritan art form. The new style was different from its recently controversial past by "removing objectionable elements" such as Sringara more subtle. Certain emotional elements evocative of the erotic, such as hip, neck, lip and chest movements from the Pandanallur style were muted to a large extend. It is located barely half a kilometre away from Tiruvanmayur bus stand. If you are planning to drop in to their campus, please note that the visiting hours are from 8.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m on weekdays.