NEWS & NOTES
Natya Adhyayana Gurukulam celebrates 20th anniversary - ARTHI DEVARAJAN On the banks of a long, glittering river, nestled between rolling green hills, there is a beautiful ashram, where individuals gather to meditate and pray together peacefully. And every summer, the ashram is home to dozens of young girls who arrive, clad in colorful sarees and salwar kameez, to practice the art of Bharatanatyam. Each year, dancers travel to a small town in rural Virginia to attend the Natya Adhyayana Gurukulam, a residential summer camp for young Indo-American students of Bharatanatyam. They are primarily America-born Indian children from across the U.S.A., but over the years students have hailed from beyond the US, travelling from Singapore, Australia, Germany, Italy, England, France, Japan and other countries to attend and benefit from the expert guidance at the camp. The Natya Adhyayana Gurukulam celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, with great enthusiasm and joy from all participants. The Fine Arts Society camp is held in the town of Yogaville, Virginia, on the grounds of the Sri Swami Satchidananda Ashram and Light of Truth Universal Shrine, a community founded in the 1980’s by Sri Swami Satchidananda, a spiritual leader originally from Tamil Nadu. The late swami had great love for classical Indian arts such as dance and music. His interest in the arts was the inspiration for the Fine Arts Society dance camp. The dedicated service of his devotee Rukmini Rasiah, founder and presiding member of the Fine Arts Society, has in large part made the camp what it is today. Now in her nineties, she continues to administer the camp with love and deep dedication.