About Kalakshetra School

Kalakshetra was started in January 1936 by Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, as a Cultural Academy for preservation of traditional values in Indian art, especially in the field of dance and music. It became a centre of excellence due to her dedication and perseverance. Under her guidance the Institution achieved National and International recognition for its unique style and perfection. Over the years it grew in stature and strength. In 1962, Kalakshetra shifted to its vast new campus in Tiruvanmiyur.

It gave Smt. Rukmini Devi ample scope to exhibit her genius. Many renowned artists of Bharatanatyam, Kathakali and Carnatic music participated in building up the Institution and maintaining the highest traditions in education and training.

The Institution had the unique distinction of having had such great scholars and musicians as Tiger Varadachariar, Mysore Vasudevachariar, Papanasam Sivan, Meenakshisundaram Pillai, Mylapore Gauri Ammal, Veenai Sambasiva Iyer, Budalur Krishnamurthy Sastri, H.Ramachandra Sastri, M.D. Ramanathan, Chandu Panikkar and a host of other geniuses as principals and professors in their respective disciplines.

A notable feature of Smt. Rukmini Devi’s efforts, was the integration of all forms and regional variants thereof. Her composition of dance dramas, typify various aspects of Indian culture and tradition and have been recognized the world over, as unique, and truly reflecting Indian culture and tradition.

After the demise of Rukmini Devi, recognizing the great traditions of Kalakshetra, and its importance in the cultural scenario of our country and appreciating the need for providing adequate funding for its sustained growth, the Government of India decided to declare the Institution as our of National Importance. Accordingly parliament unanimously passed an act “Kalakshetra Foundation” Act (No. 6 of 1994). This was preceded by a Presidential Ordinance and the Institution was taken over by government on 29.09.03.

Effectively, therefore, the Institution became an autonomous body of the Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Development.The Management of the Kalakshetra Foundation is vested in a Government Board whose, members are nominated by Government, under the chairmanship of the Hon’ble Sri R. Venkataraman, former President of India.

Financial matters are under the control and supervision of a Finance Committee, headed by the Financial adviser to the Department of Culture, with the Director, Department of Culture, Director of the Foundation, a Representative of the State Government, and The Member Secretary of the Government Board, as members. Academic matters of the Foundation are under the guidance of the Academic Committee, with the Director as Chairman, and members drawn from authorities in music, dance and crafts.

The Kalakshetra Foundation comprises of the following Units:

  • Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts
  • Besant Cultural Centre Hostel
  • Craft Education and Research Centre
  • Besant Arundale Senior Secondary School
  • Besant Theosophical High School.