The history of Kshetra Academy
We’ve reached out to the representatives/founders of Kshetra Academy and they were nice enough to answer a few of our questions.
The history of Kshetra Academy and its founding.
Kshetra Academy came into existence in May of 1992. It is the brainchild of husband and wife team of Apsara and Ram Gopal. Ram’s parents, Vatsala and the late V.K, Sivadas, are the pioneers of Indian dance in Malaysia since 1952. In 2009 Ram’s mother Vatsala was declared as ‘TOKOH ORANG HIDUP’ by the Kementerian Kebudayaan for her yeoman services to the field of culture and arts in Malaysia for more than six decades.
Apsara was born and raised in India and her parents are dancers too. After she finished her schooling Apsara pursued dance full time at Kalakshetra in Chennai, India, where she completed her graduate and post graduate studies in classical Bharatanatyam dance with a first class at both levels. Since her marriage and migration to Malaysia, Apsara and Ram decided to continue their parents’ work and start a dance school to pass on her knowledge of Indian classical dance to young Malaysians. Apsara is a Permanent Resident in Malaysia.
How did it start out?
“Kshetra Academy started with just one student in May, 1992, in the car porch of our home in Petaling Jaya. After 27 years we continue to operate from the same car porch to this day. Kshetra Academy was officially registered with the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) since 1994. It’s student strength has averaged 55 throughout its 27 year journey in the field of arts. The academy has maintained a low profile and never actively promoted itself to the public through press or media. Awareness was largely through word of mouth.”
How many performers there are exactly in your academy?
“We will have 30 students taking part and there are no professional dancers taking part in our presentation.’
How long do students have to be trained in order to be considered professional?
“Training in Indian classical dance takes many years. Our academy does not have any professional dancers in our school. All our students are amateurs, mostly primary/secondary school going students and many seniors who are college, university going students and some working women.”