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Unwinding creatively

SUBHA J RAO

The Coimbatore Cultural Academy provides the city's residents a chance to learn fine arts under one roof.



GETTING THE NOTES RIGHT: Students at the CCA. Pics: S. Siva Saravanan.

AT A time when most school children are running from one tuition to another after a hectic day of work at school, leisure is something they have almost forgotten. Gone are the days when evenings meant attending dance classes or learning music of one's choice.

Everything now has a purpose. "Tuition will help achieve this, so go", "Going there will be helpful in scoring marks, so get admitted" — this is the refrain in most homes.

But, of late, a faint breeze of change is blowing, and it has creativity written all over. Parents have come to realise that merely studying and scoring marks is not going to help and that children must enjoy themselves to utilise their full potential.

They are now going out in search of institutes that will help hone such skills. But, the disadvantage they face is that not all skills are taught under one roof. Hoping to bridge that gap is the Coimbatore Cultural Academy (CCA) in Peelamedu.

Set up as a facility that offers coaching in the fine arts, quiz and a host of other skills, it has managed to rope in more than 400 students in the two months since its opening.

Not just children, even those in a job and the elderly crave some leisure activity. Maybe why, even middle-aged couples and elderly women come in for the dance classes. All courses, except karate, yoga and modelling, are open to all. The age factor matters for these three disciplines, CCA Board members say.


Here, people can learn karate, music, yoga, aerobics, dance, modelling, painting, cookery, spoken English and Hindi.

During weekends, the Academy plan to conduct quiz workshops, classes on personality development, magic and cookery and competitions and contests. The modelling and acting classes are to start by next month under the tutelage of Sanjay Asrani from Chennai.

Prof. M. Rangarajan and S. Senthil Kumar, two of the five members on the Board, state a stint at the CCA will provide wannabe artistes a good break.

"Parents who come here want to see their children study as well as have fun. They want to encourage talent. At times, there is a conflict of interest between the parents and wards, but we find out what the child wants to learn," they say.

Priyanka Chugh, who is doing a course at the NIFT, Bangalore, is now learning music here and says she loves the concept of such an institution. "In Bangalore, you have so many schools like this. I have always wondered why we never had anything like this in Coimbatore." she says.

Devi, a young girl, stops playing her keyboard to say music provides good relaxation and that her confidence goes soaring when she gets the notes right.

Though no degree is given for courses taken up at the Academy, Prof. Rangarajan says they can coach students for degrees and diplomas in these fields.

Tie-ups have been affected with some institutions to help develop talent even at the school-level. They are also looking at an expansion, and have plans to construct huts in the sprawling campus to teach more disciplines.

Since most of the crowd comes in after 4 p.m. on weekdays, they are mulling utilizing the morning hours to teach housewives spoken English. Contact 98430 90119, 98430 49911 and 5532276 for details.

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