Kalagam's Institutions » School of Music and Dance

When the Founders started the Vidyalayam for girls, they introduced Carnatice Music and Bharata Natyam as subjects in the curriculum partly because of the soul touching quality of the spiritual nature of the subjects. However later when the Vidyalayam became a Grant-in-aid school these two subjects had to be removed in accordance with the departmental regulation.


The need for a Cultural Centre in Colombo was felt and the Kalagam inaugurated the Saiva Mangaiyar School for Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam in 1946.


The subjects were – vocal, violin, veena, flute, mridhangam, jalatarangam and bharata natyam together with theory of music and dance.


This Institution has played a crucial role in promoting Music and  Dance, despite the ongoing conflict, The school is perhaps the oldest surviving School of this nature.

The first Manager was Mrs. Sri Kanthi Kanagasabai who laid the basic foundation and built the school during its formative years.

The others who followed were Mrs.Leela Kandiah, Mrs.Arunthathy Thiruchittampalam,  Mrs.Gowrie Thyagaraja,  Mrs.Haima Somasekeram, Mrs.Satyavathy Nadaraja, Mrs.Indra Raj, and the incumbent Manager, Mrs.Padmini Selvaratnam.

When Smt. Rukmami Arundale visited the School in 1970 she was impressed with the work done and the School became associated with Kalakshetra in Chennai.

In the 1950s, students of the school have had their respective Arangetrams – debuts 
Rudrani Balakrishnan in violin, Kamala Sathasivam in Flute and Balasundari Prathalingam in Bharata Natyam. These arangetrams were the earliest in the country.

Saraswathi Puja is the Kalai Vizha of the School where all the students are given the opportunity to perform. On Vidyarambam, new students enrol for any one or two of the subjects taught. Students appear regularly for the NCOMS exams.

Today there are over 200 children studying and eight teachers.

In the late fifties of the last century, the teachers and senior students of the School participated in the Music Festivals of Chennai and Delhi for three consecutive years – in dance and orchestral music winning accolades. This was the first time that children from Sri Lanka participated in Music festivals in India.

Several Dance Dramas have been staged from time to time – Sri Andal, Radha Krishna, Sita Suyamvaran, Savitri Satyavan, Shakuntala, Saint Manikkavasagar, Harichandran, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Chinmayananda, Saint Appar to mention just a few.

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