Memories of Bharata Kalanjali, Anna & Akka

Shobana Balchandra (one of the Trio Sisters)

When I joined Bharata Kalanjali, I was only 6. They had just started Bharata Kalanjali. I had no particular interest in dance. For me, interest in dance came much later.

We were closer to akka and master than our parents; we even discussed our personal problems with them. More than dance, the human values that we have learnt from them, has inspired me to be a better teacher, when I started my own school. I learnt to mingle with my students as a person, not just as a teacher. If they don't think you are a good human being, they never respect you as an artiste.

We especially learnt a lot of technical details, which no teacher will teach you. Since we were present when the choreography was being evolved, we learnt a lot about how to choreograph, how to do group choreography, how to work with children.

Each production is unique in some way, Valli had a rustic theme, Ramanaatakam was high flown, but in my opinion Sanghamitra is the best we have done so far.

When we moved out of Madras, we started our own institution, but we have always taken master's guidance. Just because we have left Bharata Kalanjali does not mean our ties are cut. Whenever we need help, we always approach master and he is ever ready to lend his support and guidance, that's the relationship we have with them. Whatever we are today, we owe to master and akka.