Well-known dance academy celebrates 40 years

    The Natyakalalayam dance academy performs a traditional Bharatha Natyam dance.

    The Natyakalalayam Dance Academy, formerly known as the Kantharuby Dance Academy, celebrated its 40th anniversary with colourful outfits, music and dance at the Truro Hall on Sunday night.

    The Natyakalalayam dance academy performs a traditional Bharatha Natyam dance.Many former students, parents, friends and family attended and the academy presented a slide show and a Kala Utsavam to inaugurate the event.
    A traditional Bharatha Natyam prayer which involves the offering of flowers in closed hands (Pushpanjali) to the lord of dance (Nataraja) was performed by the senior dancers to set the tone for the rest of the evening.
    The dance academy, that was started by Srimathi Kantharuby in 1978 with just 5 students, now has a hundred, including musicians.
    Kantharuby began dancing at the tender age of 3 and went to India where she learnt the art of Bharatha Natyam while training under various gurus. With the skills she learnt, she started her own dance schools situated in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Johannesburg.
    The academy has now performed numerous productions such as Nelson Mandela Freedom Struggle, Dasavatharam, Sathyagraha, Skanda and the Lion King. They have performed in numerous countries including England, India, France, Mauritius, Zambia, and Botswana.
    Like their mother, Kantharuby’s children are dancers. Her daughter Srimathi Yshrene Moodley trained in India from the age of 8 and has numerous accolades. Her twin sons have also made their family proud with their performances.
    The guest of honour was the president of the Tamil Federation, Mr Richard Govender, who knows Kantharuby for more than 30 years and said, “She has made a great contribution to the landscape of culture, music, dance and now has a legacy.”
    The speeches by her students, many of whom now send their young children to the dance school, left the audience feeling emotional hearing the tributes and stories of how dance has helped them to be disciplined.
    One of her students, Thresen Naidoo, who has been dancing in the academy for many years said, “It is the most amazing academy I could have ever joined as it is an academy that strives for excellence. It is run by the most amazing dance gurus who take the time and opportunity to groom every student with discipline, good conduct and showing immense love.”
    He describes dance as “dreaming with your feet; everything is possible if you believe.”
    The Natyakalalayam Dance Academy will be hosting numerous occasions to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

    Shorné Bennie

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