Chennai-based Bharatanatyam teacher Sasirekha Raammohan has been moulding scores of teens in the classical dance form for many years now; at her dance school, Kanakasabai School of Bharatanatyam in Mandavelipakkam, Chennai.
Between dance education and training, there have been dance productions, recitals and tours these past years.
The Covid pandemic turned Sasirekha’s world topsy-turvy, a bit. But she and her senior students besides daughter Shruthe, who is also a dancer, turned to technology’s fruits, tapped them and launched a series of online activities.
Foremost were dance classes.
Says Sasirekha, “I get 95% attendance even today. My students just want to log in on time on all days. They tell me dance classes energise them.”
Sasirekha admits she was, and still is not tech-savvy and has encouraged her senior students who assist her in conducting classes to take the lead in choosing and employing the technology best suited for dance classes – trial and error led to some perfection.
“I am a stickler for the basics of Bharatanatyam education so the time lag on Zoom irritated me but we found a way to adjust and get the best out of the facility,” she says on the phone.
The team graduated to do more – host music concerts of young talents for one online series, present another series which has a scholar / expert talk on celebrated compositions, their inspiration, location and meaning followed by an artiste performing that composition. And there are more ideas being discussed at informal offline conversations.
Sasirekha says she has also made time to sign up and attend online classes on subjects dear to her. The old normal has given way to a new normal, smoothly.
Have her wards suggested holding classes at her studio once a while now?
“Nobody wants these classes. They are aware of the dangers the virus poses,” says Sasirekha.
Similar are the stories from teachers of music and dance this season as they reconciled to a different world - of regulations and restrictions and adopted tech to continue pursuing their interests.