After a 3 year hiatus due to the pandemic, Kala Vandanam brings back its exciting, holistic, intensive learning experience to Bharatanatyam students and teachers. Join us for Natya Gurukulam 2023, a weeklong residential camp to explore Bharatanatyam and allied arts to enrich your understanding and develop new skills alongside others, to take their personal artistic journey forward.
Want to get a feel for the experience? Please view the Natya Gurukulam 2018 – Documentary from the inaugural camp, and hear from the camp attendees and master instructors.
- Yoga & body conditioning
- Adavu class – Bharatanatyam technique
- Repertory class
- Group discussions, film viewings and peer collaboration
- Closing day informal showcase by attendees and master instructors
Natya Gurukulam 2023 will be conducted at beautiful Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center situated in the wooded, rolling hills near the St. Croix river in Marine on St. Croix, MN, just north of Stillwater, MN. Attendees will have single rooms in the lodge, vegetarian meals, and access to a beautiful natural setting including a large pond, wooded trails teeming with wildlife, and the St. Croix river.
REGISTRATION – INCLUDES TUITION, ROOM & BOARD
Natya Gurukulam 2023 is led by:
|SUCHITRA SAIRAM (Curator) is a highly committed Bharatanatyam artist over 35 years in the field, and received formative training from Smt. Padmini Chari, director of the Nritya School of Bharatanatyam in Houston, TX. Suchitra has pursued advanced training under the internationally acclaimed couple The Dhananjayans, and the renowned couple Sri M.V. Narasimhachari (late) and Smt. M. Vasanthalakshmi. All of these artists are important guides and inspirations to her as an artist, teacher, and presenter. Suchitra’s work is noted for its adherence to her gurus’ exacting standards, creativity and depth. She is also a skilled nattuvangam artist, and continues her study of rhythm related arts with Sri B.R. Somashekar Jois (konakkol) and Sri Sheejith Krishna (nattuvangam).
Suchitra founded Kala Vandanam in 2002, with the vision of creating and presenting Bharatanatyam works in a way that celebrates tradition while embracing the aesthetics of our changing world. She teaches a group of committed students, and is an active Indian arts presenter in the Twin Cities. She is a recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge grant, a Next Step grant from the McKnight Foundation, and several grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board to support the her creative and teaching work. She has served as a panelist for the prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Dancers, is an advisory committee member for the Cowles Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis, and a board member of the St. Paul Area Chamber Foundation.Suchitra holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and an MBA from the University of Texas-Dallas. She is the author of the award-winning children’s book “Dancing Deepa.” | Bharatanatyam, nattuvangam and theory
SHEEJITH KRISHNA (Master Teacher) studied, then taught, at Kalakshetra Foundation, the world-renowned institution for the classical arts in Chennai, India, for 21 years (1989-2010). He has learnt Bharatanatyam, percussion, and vocal music from such stalwarts as Sarada Hoffman, Vikku Vinayakaram, and S Rajaram. A captivating performer as a soloist and in lead roles in Kalakshetra Repertory productions, he is the winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s prestigious Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (2007), Sri Krishna Gana Sabha’s Yagnaraman Award for Excellence in Dance (2010), and the Ram Gopal Award for Best Male Dancer (AttenDANCE, 2015). As an independent artist, he has taught workshops and courses for prestigious organizations and choreographed solo and group productions for eminent artistes around the world. A dynamic nattuvanar, Sheejith has accompanied many of India’s leading Bharatanatyam artists. In 2011, he choreographed the dance sequences for Ang Lee’s Academy award-winning motion picture, Life of Pi. His numerous full-length thematic works have been presented globally and are widely hailed as ground breaking. Sheejith is a co-founder and director of the Sahrdaya Foundation in Chennai, India. | Bharatanatyam, nattuvangam, and theory
JYOTHISHMATHI SHEEJITH (Master Teacher), an accomplished Carnatic music vocalist and composer, received her undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas from the prestigious Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai, India. She has been the lead vocalist for many classic Kalakshetra Repertory productions. As an independent artist, she has toured internationally with many illustrious Bharatanatyam artists, including C.V. Chandrasekhar, The Dhananjayans, Leela Samson and Malavika Sarukkai. A graded artist of All India Radio, she has conducted workshops and served as faculty in teaching residencies in India, the United States, Canada, and several countries in Europe and Africa. Jyothishmathi is also an accomplished composer, including full-length original productions Krishna Bharatam (2009), Parinaamam (2010), Pravaha (2013), Yathadarshe Tathaatmani (2014), Don Quixote (2015), Ram Katha (2016) and Ritu-The Seasons (2017). Jyothishmathi is a co-founder and core member of the Sahrdaya Foundation in Chennai, India. | Carnatic music
|VAISHALEE PATEL (Master Teacher) has been practicing yoga and meditation for 25 years. She found her home when she discovered classical Himalayan philosophy and yoga, and has been studying and teaching its holistic and integrative approach of breath, body, and mind for the last 15 years. Vaishalee completed yoga and meditation 1500-hour teacher trainings at the Institute of the Himalayan Tradition in St. Paul in 2007 at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels, and is registered with Yoga Alliance. She has a passion for teaching all levels of students and strives to understand each student individually.
Vaishalee’s professional experience spans the consulting, healthcare, financial services and education industries. Throughout her 20 years of corporate experience, she has learned a great deal about how people view and treat their bodies, observing that the understanding of the causal connection between body and mind is often neglected. Over the years, Vaishalee has delivered numerous workshops in the workplace to help her teams bring focus to this connection, enabling them to increase productivity, creativity and retention. In concert with this passion, Vaishalee founded TruBalance LLC in 2012 to continue to help individuals find balance in their own lives
Vaishalee is an extensively trained Bharatanatyam dancer. She has been dancing for over 20 years and is active dancer at Kala Vandanam in St. Paul. This dance form is a perfect complement to yoga and breathing; it focuses on body awareness, alignment, and movement. Vaishalee has been a yoga instructor at the annual Kala Vandanam Natya Gurukulam residential camp since its inception. | Yoga
ELIGIBILITY and WHAT TO EXPECT
Natya Gurukulam 2023 gives attendees the rare opportunity to completely immerse themselves in the arts without the distractions of everyday life. This will be a transformative experience for the mind, body and artistic soul. It is open to Bharatanatyam students and teachers, age 12 and up (age 12 as of July 15, 2023), and suggested that attendees have learned all adavus and repertoire through Jathiswaram.
Each student attendee will have an opportunity work with each of the master instructors. The master instructors will determine group assignments for each attendee (not self-selection) based on a pre-camp evaluation. Please contact Kala Vandanam with questions about eligibility.
LIMITED ENROLLMENT. ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED FOR THE ENTIRE CAMP.
This will require attendees to focus completely, have the mental and physical stamina to learn in an intensive manner, and be inspired by the world around them. To facilitate this, past Natya Gurukulam attendees may not make/send or receive calls or messages, or visit home during the camp, except in the case of emergency. First time attendees may make a call home mid-week. During the camp, all contact between parents and the camp administrators will be in the event of emergency only.
SHOWCASE – The camp will conclude an informal showcase at Dunrovin Brothers Retreat Center, featuring the attendees performing repertory they have learned during the week and performances by the master instructors.
INCLUDES TUITION, ROOM & BOARD
- EARLY REGISTRATION (valid through 3/31/2023) – $1250
- REGULAR REGISTRATION (valid 4/1 – 6/15/2023) – $1350
- LATE REGISTRATION (valid 7/1-20/2022) – $1500
- FAMILY DISCOUNT – Attendees from the same household receive a discount. First attendee: Full fee, 2+ – $50 off each
- 25% NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT due at the time of registration
- 25% INSTALLMENT due by 06/15/2023
- 50% FINAL INSTALLMENT due 7/15/2023
- PAYMENTS are NON-REFUNDABLE except 1) if camp is postponed due to unexpected circumstances OR 2) attendee has a medical issue that prevents attendance, with documentation provided by a medical professional. 25% non-refundable deposit will be applied to a future camp, minus $100 admin fee.
- REGISTRATION CLOSES when all spots are filled, or 07/20/2022 – whichever comes first
REGISTRATION CLOSES when all spots are filled, or 07/20/2023 – whichever comes first
Includes music fee of $25 for professionally recorded music
SAMPLE DAILY SCHEDULE
|9-10:30am||Adavu class and body conditioning|
|12-2pm||Lunch and free time|
|7-9pm||Nature walks, group discussions, film viewings, 1×1 with master instructors or free time (will vary by day)|
Questions? Please reach out anytime – firstname.lastname@example.org