I have been a Bharatanatyam student at Saraswati Mahavidyalaya for the last 11 years or so. I joined the school as a 26 year old adult (under the tutelage of Shrimathi Shaki Hari) , to re-embark my dance journey which started when I was 5 years old, in Singapore. I have danced at SMV in all their past locations, Barrack St, Como Primary School, Mint St, Beaufort St, Willetton SHS, as well as their newest teaching location, Kelmscott.
There is something magical about dancing at Kelmscott, something soothing to the soul and something that is just so alluring about the whole place. It has the warm memories of the founder of SMV, Swamiji Shantanand, whom I never met, but feel his presence. As a student of SMV, I understand Swamiji’s vision was for dance classes and shows to be staged at Kelmscott. His vision was for Kelmscott to be transformed into a cultural and yogic farming area, where people of all backgrounds can learn Indian classical dance and develop spiritually.
When I saw first saw Kelmscott, I instantly fell in love with the place and could see the founder’s vision and dreams. The vast area, the quietness that comes from being away from the city, and the sheer beauty of dancing when surrounded by nature cannot be explained. The stillness in the air instantly quietened my mind, and helped me connect more with myself, which is an important part of dance.
One dances best when their mind and body is connected and I truly felt that whilst dancing at Kelmscott. I have fallen quite in love with Kelmscott, find it truly soothing to the soul. I love hanging out there so much, that I am one of the ad hoc gardeners there.
I think any student thinking of learning classical Indian dance, should join the classes at SMV, which are conducted by Srimati Sukhi Shetty Krishnan who is the Director of SMV. Being taught by Sukhi akka, at the birthplace of SMV in Perth, is an truly humbling and amazing experience. I look forward to seeing more dancers at Kelmscott SMV, and look forward to performing there one fine day!