Thursday, 29 January 2015

The project has just begun ..... for the girls

Today being the last full day of the camp, it was time to show them around the campus of Rukumini Devi College of Fine Arts. We could not take photographs of the space, as it is prohibited, but the children were taken for a tour starting from their music room, to the dance classrooms, and the visual arts section. They were also given a tour of the natural worship space of the campus which is maintained and looked after by the community in their own way. One of the most striking features of the campus which the children liked very much was the open classrooms and the colourful dresses rather than the boring uniforms they are used to in their schools. There were one or two after seeing the campus who showed interest in wanting to study at Kalakshetra Foundation.
There was also one of the girls from the Goa group who now is happy to stay on and never return to Goa, as she is so happy with the space and all the activities happening here.
The day was spent by the girls finishing their fabric prints, rehearsing their dance, making cards for all the facilitators and organisers etc. The day just went by and it was 4.30pm.

We were graced by the guru of Mrs.Priya Murali, Prof.Sudharani Raghupathy (Padmashree Awardee) who usually does not go out much anymore, but she made it all the way to be the guest of honour. Also, Ms.Priyadarshini, Director of Kalakshetra Foundation and one of India’s most famous dancers of the current generation was also present.
We also had invited all the parents of the girls from the Chennai school and the representatives of Nalamdana.

Before we started the presentation, with the help of the Nalamdana volunteer to translate, we spoke a little to the parents of the children to explain to them the purpose of the camp, why we were doing what we were doing and why we were also a little strict on discipline and behaviour. We let them ask us questions if they had any, cause we also believe that along with changing the education pattern for the children, the parents need to be educated as well in the same way.

We then started off with each group coming up to introduce themselves and also show the work they have done at the photography workshop. They all looked great with their colourful painted veils. In their own way they told their story of the camp.

We then had them present their dance, alongwith Mrs.Priya Murali, adding on a little introduction for the parents about the purpose behind the dance workshop.
The evening ended in just excited euphoric activity amongst the girls and visitors, and a big sense of achievement and freedom for them all.
Prof.Sudharani Raghupathi, also handed over a book which is the first volume of the basics of Bharatnatyam, along with a copy of her CDs of a performance and book on the same to all the children.
The parents we highly grateful at the end of the presentation, and really felt joyous about it all, with one mother asking us to take her along with us to Goa.

What came out of this evening basically was the simplicity of a community, simplicity of life coming together, simplicity in creating a joyous moment and the simplicity in sharing. 

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