Making art a way of life

Cultural Hub

The folk art etched on the red walls and the luscious greenery inside have a magnetic lure that cannot be ignored.

Dancer RashmeHegde Gopi’s Shankaraa is a confluence of all traditional art forms.  It is the extension of a belief that our traditional art forms do not exist in isolation but are influenced by each other and hence can be interwoven to create something so beautiful that it ceases to be merely art and gets embossed into our very being.

Shankaraa aims at being the focal point for all art forms and transforming art into a way of life.  Rashme attributes the genesis of the idea to Rudraksha. Rudraksha, a cultural hub tucked away in the interiors of Kanakapura Road, is a meeting point for traditional artists to showcase their talent.

Shankaraa is an attempt to take that vision one step  forward.

Shankaraa has four dimensions to it. Poorvaranga , the first dimension, aims at educating people in traditional art forms.  It offers Master’s programme in classical dance as well as classical music and is affiliated to the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

The courses are due to start in January 2011.  Shankaraa’s  pride and an integral part of Poorvaranga is Bhoomandala, an open air amphitheatre which can house close to 1,500 people.

It is a brilliant platform for street theatre, live music, traditional and folk dance performances. The second dimension is Rangaguccha. The main aim of Rangaguccha is to popularise traditional art forms among children.

 “We work mainly with rural kids and have art workshops for them during summers,” says Rashme.

The third dimension is Hastanjali, where traditional craftsmen are encouraged and provided the essential platform to showcase their talent.  Shankaraa works in collaboration with the State Government and has a well- equipped design studio.

They specialise in a type of hand embroidery that is an inspiration from temple jewellery. They also have a fully equipped computer-aided design lab.  The last dimension is Artitude which aims at organising events to convert art into an enterprise. It is the platform where artists and art-lovers meet.

“Our future plans include cultural events by world renowned artists as well as our own students, every second Saturday of the month. We are planning to have a café where only Satvika Ahaara is served,” adds Rashme.

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