by Greta Yeoman
Despite relocating from India to Timaru, a long-time dancer is not about to forget her roots.
Pavithra Maduram Ravi moved to South Canterbury in April for her husband’s work and has been busy setting up Indian dance classes in Christchurch, and, soon, Timaru.
Mrs Ravi spent years running dance workshops in two different areas of India, teaching more than 100 students.
She has also travelled the world, holding workshops in Europe and the United Kingdom and performing in Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and France.
She began learning traditional dance at age 4, taught by her mother.
Mrs Ravi teaches two styles of Indian dance, the traditional Bharatanatyan dance, which can be traced back to the second century, and Natya Aerobics, which she describes as a mix of Bollywood styles with folk and classical dancing.
“[It is like] an Indian zumba class.”
To celebrate launching her Timaru classes, Mrs Ravi has been working on an evening of Indian entertainment later this month.
She had named the evening “Erasing Boundaries of Indian Arts” in recognition that despite expected religious connotations, Indian dance was for anyone and everyone to take part in.
“It’s not a religious or spiritual thing, it’s just about expression of movement.”
She said Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury chief executive Liz Shea and Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon would be the guests of honour at the event.
The evening of Indian entertainment – including dance, music and Indian tea – would begin at 5.30pm on Sunday, July 29 at the the Savage Club hall in Dee St.
While the time and location of the South Canterbury classes are yet to be determined, Mrs Ravi hoped to start them next month, possibly on Friday evenings.
The launch of her Timaru classes, under her Zealandia Academy of Indian Arts, would come after successfully launching weekend classes in Christchurch a month ago.
She also hoped to offer free sessions of Natya Aerobics for Timaru senior citizens or new migrant women.