She refuses to call it a dance school, and she refuses to tell you how much she charges. "It's not done", she says, "because if someone is really interested, this would not be a concern." You catch a fleeting glimpse of scorn: the sort that is felt when art is brought down to a mere commodity. Clearly, for Hemamalini Arni, it's just about an artist's dedication for her art.
With ballets such as Priye... Priye, inspired by the English translation of old Tamil, Sanskrit and Prakrit poetry, and The Winter Of Spring, based on Greek Mythology, to her credit, she teaches at her residence in Banjara Hills, spreading her students over various stages, depending on the level they have reached in terms of training. She takes on students aged six upwards.
Having trained under the most eminent exponents of the dance form, she has been teaching Bharatnatyam for the last 20 years. If you're looking to learn a fusion form of dance, this isn't the place for you, though, as Hemamalini Arni teaches only classical Bharatnatyam. With a number of ballets to her credit, she has an excellent group of musicians as well to accompany her at performances.
The wonderful thing about Hemamalini Arni is the honesty with which she approaches teaching. Everyone can dance, she believes, but if she thinks you're not passionate enough about it, she's going to let you know. That's not too much to ask for to be able to perfect an art form, is it?
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