The Vadhini Indian Arts Academy in Gatesville, founded by Shrimari Savitri Naidoo, has been entertaining locals and tourists for 36 years.
The internationally recognised academy was established in Cape Town and specialises in traditional Indian dancing with a local twist. The dancers are committed to bringing diversity to the Cape arts scene by exposing locals to different religions and cultures.
“We aim to inspire and instil a sense of beauty and increase the appreciation of Indian arts,” says senior dance instructor Maya Kooverjee. “We are proud to share Indian arts with the community.”
The academy specialises in Bharata Natyum, a south Indian art form, which is taught on a workshop basis. The academy is also involved with the Footprints project, which focuses on the social integration of refugee children using dance as a medium to support pupils with barriers to learning.
“We are passionate about continuing to better the community and hopefully in the near future introduce our own outreach programme,” says Kooverjee. “We recently performed in the classical Indian play Nritya Alankaaramthat showcased the most inspiring Indian dance forms and epitomises what the academy has to offer.”
The academy’s performers have dazzled Cape Town Carnival spectators since 2010 and will continue to show off their talents at the seventh annual Carnival along the Green Point Fan Walk on 12 March from 16:00.
“Cape Town Carnival has allowed us to showcase what our academy has to offer on a much larger scale,” says Kooverjee. “Cape Town Carnival has helped us in more ways than one. It has helped raise awareness for the academy, introducing the public to Indian arts and it has helped the students of Vadhini academy to be a part of an iconic event and perform in front of thousands of people.”