SLWTU will stage the dance drama Sivakamiyin Sabatham on September 30th
This effort will also serve as fundraising to improve facilities at the premises
The dancers will be selected from talented students across the country
Kalalya School of Dance and Music was established on September 1 in 1948 to support and encourage Tamil culture, art and education by the Sri Lanka Tamil Women’s Union. Starting from meagre beginnings it has gone from strength to strength. The first classes were conducted at the Friends in Need Society Building located on Sir James Peiris Mawatha. Later we were fortunate to acquire land on Bauddhaloka Mawatha (then Bullers Road) for this purpose and able to build our own premises in 1954. This building has been the mainstay of all our activities until now.
The 70-year saga of Kalalaya has been the saga of the eminent women who espoused the idea of the role of the feminine in the nurturing and growth of the Tamil identity in terms of culture, tradition and language. We have had teachers like Vijayalakshmi Shanmugam Pillai, Kamala Johnpulle, Neela Sathyalingam and Thilakavathy Kanagasabai in the past. Many of their students, through this school, have become accomplished dancers and musicians.
Kalalaya functions under the aegis of Sri Lanka Tamil Women’s Union (SLTWU) which was founded in 1909 by Dr Mary Helen Rutnam
The building has withstood many onslaughts of weather including high winds, frequent inundation of water due to flooding from monsoon rains and storms. Apart from minor refurbishments and small additions to accommodate additional activities the main building stands proud proclaiming its sustainable presence over the last 70 years.
Seventy years also mark the end of the ethnic strife that had scarred the lives of Sri Lankan people over the past years. In 1983, in the aftermath of the July riots, saw the exodus of students and Kalalaya closed down for a brief period and leased out the premises to the school of Architects. Thank fully phoenix like we have risen from the ashes, soaring high, seeking new horizons. The students who graduated with Arangetram performances from the school have spread far and wide in the world taking along with them Tamil culture and the art of Bharathanatyam. Neela Sathyalingam’s school in Singapore is a case in point.
Several events have been lined up to mark the occasion and raise funds to improve this institute which has nourished Tamil art and culture
The end of the war in 2009 brought about new beginnings in various facets of life in our country and Kalalaya is also gently waking up to facing this challenge. Kalalaya School’s activities have reached a stage where the existing hall and supporting spaces are inadequate to cater to the growing needs of the school. Classes have begun in Carnatic music, Veena , Violin and Hindustani vocal music. More classes are planned in Keyboard, Kathak Dancing and guitar playing. Additional needs have arisen with regard to our outreach activities incorporating the provinces. The school is actively seeking to raise funds and improve facilities for its students.
In the year of the 70th anniversary of Kalalya School many prestigious events will commemorate the event. Apart from the usual annual events like celebration of the International Women’s Day, Navarathri celebrations and Christmas festivities that mark our calendar, the 70th year will see a mega dance drama as the high light of the anniversary celebrations featuring the story of Sivakamiyin Sabatham written by Kalki Krishnamurthy.
This effort will also serve as fundraising for improving facilities in the premises. Sivakamiyin Sabatham is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels ever written in Tamil, set in 8th century south India against the backdrop of various historical events and figures. The dancers will be selected from talented students across the country, especially from Jaffna.
Kalalaya functions under the aegis of Sri Lanka Tamil Women’s Union (SLTWU) which was founded in 1909 by Dr Mary Helen Rutnam. The present executive led by the President Nirmala Ragunathan is poised to bring in the winds of change through a membership drive which has brought in new blood and a varied talent that will provide greater scope for expansion and growth.
SLWTU will stage the dance drama Sivakamiyin Sabatham on the 30th September 2018 at Bishop’s College Auditorium at 6.30pm. More details about the activities and sale of tickets can be obtained by calling
Selvi Sachithanandam (0773 679656) Vijitha Thambinayagam (0777 686822) Shanthi Balasubramaniam (0777 329881) or Neela Thayaparan (0777445515).
The dance drama Sivakamiyin Sabatham will be on 30th September 2018 at Bishop’s College Auditorium at 6.30pm.
More details: Selvi Sachithanandam (0773 679656) Vijitha Thambinayagam (0777 686822) Shanthi Balasubramaniam (0777 329881) or Neela Thayaparan (0777445515)