Gautham and Anuradha from Sarang Alternative School here!
We have been travelers and explorers all our lives, as part of our studies, hobbies, work.
Travel is also an essential method of learning at Sarang. The Sarang children traveled to different places in Kerala to learn various art forms. Art has always formed a significant part of Sarang’s dynamic curriculum. We believe that art is a powerful refining tool in the process of instilling values and ethics in young minds.
Along our journey we stopped a while at Vijnana Kalavedi, a wonderful institution for cultural exchange in Aranmula, Southern Kerala. Vijnana Kalavedi was created three decades ago by Ms. Louba Schild, a French Kathakali artiste. At a very young age she traveled to India seeking spirituality and learnt Kathakali in Kerala. Vijnana Kalavedi evolved due to her wish to share her experience of Indian arts and culture with the world. Over the years, the Center grew into a dedicated platform for learning traditional art forms and the meaningful exchange of different cultures.
We worked at Vijnana Kalavedi, helping with the expansion and maintenance. There the Sarang children found an opportunity to study many art forms under a single roof. They were constantly exposed to varied cultures, languages and people, which widened their horizons.
Sadly, Vijnana Kalavedi stopped functioning in August 2009. It came as a shock not only to us but to many of the students who were staying at the Center or had once stayed there. Everyone got together and brainstormed over many solutions to keep this heritage alive. Finally we parted ways with the hope that ‘where one tree falls, ten sprouts would rise up’. They did! Some of the teachers of Vijnana Kalavedi began their own institutions.
Since our lives revolved around Sarang, we planned to continue the art education of Sarang Children. Along with this, we dreamed of filling at least part of the void created by the closure of Vijnana Kalavedi, in our own humble way.
So here we are! After much searching, we found an ideal location at Pathirippala, Palakkad. Also, good teachers for Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, Flute, Mridangam, and Mohiniyattam. Classes for the Sarang children started on March 1st 2010.
Now we are all set to welcome fellow-explorers to join our journey! We dream of a Center where not only can serious artists delve deep into traditional Indian art forms but where anyone can come and experience the beauty of different art forms and cultures by learning to appreciate them.
The road goes ever-on… Let’s walk some of it together.
Love and Regards,