Living in Malaysia we a fortunate enough to be immersed in a multicultural society. A society where arts, culture and tradition run deep.
This Merdeka month, we got the opportunity to speak with two renown names in the world of classical Indian music and dance. They are none other than – Apsara and Ram Gopal, the husband-wife pair who run KSHETRA ACADEMY – in Section 10, Petaling Jaya.
The academy focuses solely on the teaching of Indian classical dance. It is located in Section 10, Petaling Jaya.
“We used to conduct our classes at our porch at our home but now due to the pandemic and the MCO, we are forced to conduct Online classes for 35 of our students.” Ram explained.
Ram and Apsara are akin to the beat and the dance. Ram plays the mridangam while Apsara unfolds the story through her elegant dance movements. The pair are both incredibly friendly and witty. Apsara is from India but is now a Malaysian permanent resident whereas Ram is a Malaysian. “I hail from Serdang but have been a Petaling Jaya resident for many decades now.” said Ram.
Both Apsara’s and Ram’s parents are dancers too. So, carrying on this talent was simply natural as they were just carrying on the family tradition.
“We started Kshetra Academy soon after our marriage in 1992. We started with one student but soon after, word spread and the people in our neighbourhood came to know about our school. Our early students were mainly from our neighbourhood.” Ram said.
He continued, “The awareness about our dance school was spread purely through word of mouth. We did not and still do not actively advertise the classes and there was no internet or social networking in the early nineties. Now we have many second-generation students with us, – meaning children of our pioneer batch of students.”
“Every annual concert that we have ever staged are all stand out experiences. However, if asked to pick one, we would pick the time when our school was selected by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, to represent Malaysia at the Silver Jubilee (25th Anniversary) India – ASEAN Conference’s International Ramayana Festival in New Delhi. This event was held way back in 2018 where our students received a standing ovation at the end of our concert.” Ram exclaimed.
Truly a success story!
“Over the last 30 years of our dance school’s existence, we own a plethora of dance paraphernalia consisting of costumes, accessories, props, audio and video equipment and other materials for use at our dance school’s concerts and activities. Hence it became imperative to seek a suitable storage solution to contain our growing inventory,” Ram explained.
“Honestly, we were quite nervous at first about putting all our items in a separate storage. We are talking about 30 years of hard work and prudent accumulation of various materials collected at great expense, time and trouble. Furthermore, items like costumes, crowns and props are more often than not custom-made and cannot be bought off the shelf. We needed to be certain of storage security, safety and accessibility. Cost and flexibility of space options were obviously major considerations as well.” Ram stated.
That is where Cube Self Storage became the choice for their storage solutions. Here, we not only provide security and accessibility but also help our customers in terms of cost savings and the flexibility of storage options.
Members of the public are welcome to visit and view our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kshetraacademy.
It contains information about our school, including photographs and videos of our past productions.
In conjunction with the upcoming 64th Merdeka Day, Ram Gopal and Apsara also have a wish for fellow Malaysians. “We send our best wishes for a PEACEFUL, HARMONIOUS and HEALTHY Malaysia.”
May we all continue to be harmonious and healthy for more years to come. Selamat Hari Merdeka!