Established in year 1986, Shiladhish Art & Research Institute has over the years carved a niche for itself as one of the leading institutes for classical dance training in Mumbai.
The brainchild of Bharatnatyam exponents Deepak Mazumdar & Prakriti Bhaskar, it has been instrumental in propagating & popularizing the magnificent classical dance-form of Bharatnatyam amongst the cross-cultural youth of the metropolis for nearly 2 decades.
At the institute, the training is geared towards developing the aesthetic & creative sensitivity of the student for whom dance becomes a serious mind-body discipline & a life-long process of transformation & evolution. Technical perfection, imaginative choreography, challenging rhythmic explorations & aesthetically sleek presentations are the hallmark of the school.
Systematic training coupled with a thorough understanding of the ‘shastras’ provides a strong foundation & gives a deeper insight of the art to a student of dance. Over the years, many have groomed into dedicated artistes & passionate performers who have won critical acclaim at National & International levels.
Apart from training, the institute also focuses on the importance of spreading awareness of the rich cultural heritage amongst the uninitiated. It has taken several initiatives to make classical art more accessible to the layman & help many shed their inhibitions about classical arts, thereby creating an enthusiastic audience for the performing arts.
In the recent years this has been its most significant contribution to the arts & society at large. The institute believes that along with the practitioner, the audience is a very crucial factor for any traditional art-form to be preserved & passed on to the next generation.
Amongst the younger generation of dancers, Prakriti combines in her pursuit of the art, a rare blend of an elegant performer, meticulous teacher, imaginative choreographer, accomplished nattuvanaar & a prolific writer. Prakriti holds a Masters Degree in Fine Arts & is a National Scholar.
A senior disciple of rhythm wizard Kalaimamani Talavidwan Shri T.S. Kadhirvellu Pillai, Prakriti specializes in rhythmic choreography & nattuvangam (the art of playing the cymbals). She is also trained under Padmashree Guru Adyar K. Lakshman, an internationally acclaimed teacher & choreographer. Her meticulous training under both these stalwarts helped her evolve into a mature artiste with a highly creative mind & sensitivity.
Her versatility also finds expression in her passion for an equally challenging & dynamically contrasting dance-form Mohini Attam. She has been pursuing it over the last 6 years under the guidance of Guru Udyogamandala Vikraman in Mumbai & Dr. Neena Prasad at Tiruvananthapuram. She has along with her dance repertory “NRTYAMANDALA Dance Ensemble” performed at all major dance festivals such as the Natyanjali Festival, Chidambaram, Uday Shankar Dance Festival, Kolkata, Konark Dance & Music Festival, Konark etc.
Her workshops & insights on ‘the aesthetics & mathematics of rhythm’ have been widely appreciated & she has been invited by prestigious institutes across the country to share her work with serious students of dance, which includes the world-renowned KALAKSHETRA College of Fine Arts, Chennai. In 2007, she has been awarded the prestigious ‘senior fellowship’ by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India for her research work on “Cross-rhythm Choreography & Nattuvangam”.
Carrying forth her guru’s legacy, she has been zealously training students for over two decades at Shiladhish Art & research Institute hoping to create a next generation of committed artistes.
AIM- Art Initiative Movement
An intensive art-awareness programme that reflects the vision and mission of the institute.
AIM echoes the very essence & spirit of the artistic traditions & their vital role in shaping the future of a generation. Culture has assumed a renewed significance in today’s scenario for it is essentially a cultivation of the human self both inner & outer. Culture is a leveler & human beings have an urge to create, to celebrate & to nourish their minds and souls just as they need food & clothing to satisfy their physical needs. InIndia, the arts are inextricably intertwined with all aspects of our life. The classical arts developed a high level of sophistication striving to hone an individual’s sensibilities. They continue to be inspirational & instrumental in spreading social values & ethics & reinforce our faith in the values of life.
- The Art
- The Artiste
- The Audience
The institute’s long term perspective on the positive role of culture as a universal and unifying force has resulted in a few initiatives-
Some of these include-
NRITYAM – A 2-day performing arts festival, that highlights works of artistes of different genre & provides a much needed platform for a dialogue between artistes & audience.
- Instituting the TS Kadhirvelu annual scholarship to deserving, talented students for training in nattuvangam.
- Co-funding other art organizations on various projects relating to art & culture, especially supporting documentation of a master’s work.
- Establishing a dance repertory- NRTYAMANDALA DANCE ENSEMBLE not only expands the parameters of the traditional structure, using technology to create & present artistic works that are relevant, appealing & accessible to the modern minds, but also creates productions for an audience not familiar with the language of Indian Dance. It bridges the gap between the classical dance and the common man.
Coming up are two more sensitive projects-
- SAMSKARA – A cultural educational project that introduces the classical arts to children at school while encouraging parents to initiate them into classical disciplines.
- ARPANAM – a fund that provides financial support to ageing artistes/gurus.
AIM is essentially a movement developing organically and embracing change within the parameters of its core values:
[quote]Enriching life through the conservation, contribution & celebration of arts[/quote]
FOUNDER DIRECTOR – SHILADHISH ART AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE,
PLOT 380, SHANTINIVAS,
MUMBAI – 400052.
Facebook page: httpss://www.facebook.com/prakriti.bhaskar