35 kms away from Bangalore’s run-of-the-mill culture, there lies a village where dance is the only culture. Nrityagram is a India’s first dance village founded by the renowned Odissi dancer Protima Gauri in the year 1990.
“It is a community of dancers in a forsaken place amidst nature. A place where nothing exists, except dance. A place where you breathe, eat, sleep, dream, talk, imagine - dance. A place where all the five senses can be refined to perfection. A place where dancers drop negative qualities such as jealousy, small-mindedness, greed and malice to embrace their colleagues as sisters and support each other in their journey towards becoming dancers of merit.”
- Protima Gauri
Nestled among the last surviving grasslands of Bangalore, Nrityagram is a Gururkul offering training in Indian classical dances like Odissi, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Manipuri.
The drive to Nrityagram is lined with trees with the occasional bumping of cattle. You can see the dancers practicing and explore the rock structures around. It is a well-planned village with a ‘Temple Of Dedication’. The temple has an image of Protima Bedi’s guru in a dance pose.
“Fashioned from the raw mud of Nrityagram and fired after it was built, the temple is dedicated to space. It is decorated with panels depicting the elements, dance motifs, mudras and designs from costumes and ghungroos. Inside is a granite rock scooped out to hold water and a flame that stays lit.”
1. The entry fee is Rs 50
2. Visiting hours are between 10am and 2pm from Tuesdays to Sundays
3. You are not allowed to take photographs of the residential complex
4. Taking photos inside the dance class is strictly prohibited as well
5. The village is remote and locating it may be a problem. It is advised to save the location on Google Maps beforehand.
Author: Winnie Karnik