A short History of Dharani School of Performing Arts Trust

Dharani,   a visible facet of the cultural traditions of Indian Society, is one shining example of firm commitment to the revival and preservation of our value systems and traditional art forms. Dharani was founded in 1987 at Cochin by Smt. Shyamala Surendran to impart authentic training in Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Veena recital, Mrigdangam and Carnatic music. The founder trustee Smt. Shyamala Surendran a performer herself is the inspiration and heart & soul of Dharani.

An accomplished danseuse herself, Smt. Surendran had her initial training under Sri. C.E. Janardanan. She matured as a dancer under the tutelage of such prodigious names as the Dhananjayans, Padmabhushan Kalanidhinarayanan and the late Kalamandalam Kalyanikuttyamma and her daughter, Smt. Sreedevi Rajan.

Dharani has now grown into a full-fledged art institution, encouraging children to change their outlook towards classical Arts, helping them to make art a part of their life, irrespective of the profession they follow. At Dharani, dance & music is a way of life. The fees is kept very affordable for all genuine talents to join.

Dharani’s commitment extends to providing dance classes to children rescued from the street and slum areas too. One such child was sent to Kalakshetra and has taken a diploma in Dance and is a dance teacher in Kochi.

A living example of outstanding commitment to classical dance forms & music and its preservation in Kerala especially Kochi, Dharani is one of the most prestigious art schools in Kerala with auspicious classrooms designed and built in the typical Kerala style. The ethnic architecture, set against a sylvan backdrop, enhances their serene ambience.

In a discipline where the learning process never ends, long and rigorous training is everything. Dharani follows the Pandanallur Kalakshetra style of dancing. The school’s approach to teaching dance is based on live instruction and direct experience. The training is supplemented by regular workshops, lecture demonstrations and dance camps.

Dance is inseparable from music. To be a good dancer, a student hast to have a sense, a feel, for ‘Thala’. Learning of Carnatic music is thus compulsory for every dance student at the school.

Smt. Surendran and her students have held dance performances in several parts of India and abroad, earning rave reviews everywhere.