Revathi Performing Arts
Revathi Performing Arts (RPA) started its journey in Christchurch in early 2009 by Guru Uma Varma, who is originally from Kerala, a Southern State of Bharath (India)
Uma has vast experience in teaching and performing. She started Revathi School of Dance and Music in 1993 , in her home town in Kerala. Sevaral students are learning Bharathanatyam , Carnatic Music and Kathakali Samgeetham under her tutelage . Few of her early dance students are now working as accomplished Teachers and excellent Performers. One of them has obtained a doctorate degree in Mohiniyattom and is now working as senior lecturer in a university. Uma started her training in Bharathanatyam from Guru Smt Natyakalalayam Padmini Raj when she was four years old. Later she received training from Veteran Bharathnatyam performer and scholar Dr. Vasundhara Doraiswami. In the year 2007, Uma received her accreditation and National Award for South Indian Classical dance , from Sree Sankara Accreditation Centre, Kaladi, Kerala India. In Carnatic Music Uma completed training under Guru Sri Tharani Ramachandran and has received "Samgeethika" title. Uma has received the title "Kalathilakam" for five consecutive years in the prestigious Kerala Youth Festival (1985-1990) . She has given several performances in in India , UK and New Zealand. Uma was B Grade Young Artist in Vocal Music at All India Radio for 3 years (1990-1993)
With this experience , Revathi Performing Arts took birth in 2009 in Christchurch , New Zealand. Uma's contribution to community has been recognised in Christchurch as well. Indian Community Services award for Dance Development by Indian Cultural Group(2014) , Achievement Award by Kerala Cultural Forum(2017), Teacher Honour by Telugu Association of South Island (2018) and Award for ongoing Support for Christchurch Holi Festival (2020) are few of those.
Here, we believe dance and music are key instruments to social connectivity , and hence our moto "Dance to Unite". We take huge pride in the multi cultural nature of our student-base. Thus dance lessons quite often become a networking place for many. Learning Bharathanatyam has several benefits, in addition to knowing an art. It helps to maintain physical fitness undoubtedly. Hand Gestures , Head movements , neck movements, brisk foot work all demand use of tiniest ligament and muscle of various body parts. This dance form demands a high level of Body-Mind coordination. One has to remember the routine, follow the rhythm of music , execute body movements all at the very same time. Every performer is a multi tasking expert!
We take utmost care in designing learning patterns to suit various age groups and abilities. Curriculum is designed to incorporate theory for both Dance and Music. We believe that learning theory is as important as being able to perform. Theoretical knowledge boosts the confidence of the students and helps them to have better understanding of the art form.
Carnatic Music always goes hand in hand with Bharathanatyam. So it is an added benefit to know Carnatic music to enhance one's dancing abilities. At RPA, we teach Carnatic Music from the very basics. We follow the path "Sruthi Maathaa Laya: Pitha" . Lessons are planned to teach Varisais with relevant vocal exercises , rhythm notation and theory. Theory is taught in the form of verses which makes it easy to memorise and apply as necessary .
Every year , students of RPA participates in various events like Holi, Diwali, Multicultural Festival, Onam celebration, Vishu celebration , Flamenco Festival, Home land festival and their performances are warmly accepted. We had three major productions sice our inception. BHARATHAM (2015), MAYURAM (2017) and AANANDAM (2019). We also actively participate in giving back to community. Performances in Old age homes, conducting work shops etc. are few of those. Every year we particiapte in New Zealand Dance week and commemorate International Dance Day .