Kamini's School Of Dancing

The Guru

Going back to early 70s the many splendors of a classical dancing mode of Indian dancing dawned upon the stage of Nairobi when an exceptionally talented girl explored the intricacies of the divine art of storytelling at CITY HALL IN NAIROBI.

The occasion was a graduation (“arrangetram”) performance of one of Kenya’s most promising dancers Kamini Kothari nee Thakkar. The traditional graduation under the watchful eye of the guru. Together with a natural aptitude and a rare instinctive tendency towards dancing were sufficient to launch Kamini as a dancer of substance. Her envious qualifications in music, dance, and dramatics from the prestigious M.S UNIVERSITY OF BARODA, INDIA no doubt stood her in good stead.

A few years later in 1975 with a burning desire to share her creative abilities with her colleagues and spread the gospel of Indian classical and contemporary dancing in general, she established KAMINIS SCHOOL OF DANCING.

Soon it gained respect and popularity, mainly because the institution provided a systematic, creative nourishment to its pupils.

Over the years the school has become a cultural force to reckon with, hundreds of young Kenyan girls through Kamini have been trained and graduated in her school. Her pupils have performed individually and collectively in numerous charity shows, at National and International festivals and were highly appreciation audience.

Prestigious awards in the Oriental Section of the KENYA MUSIC FESTIVAL have been won by the school ‘Kamini enjoys presenting ballets and dance expositions, each time giving them a special creative flavor.

To mention few of her productions

  1. RAAS DULARI
  2. WHISPER ME A DREAM
  3. ASHIANA
  4. SHAKUNTALA
  5. GHUNGHAROO
  6. KRISHNA
  7. SILSILE
  8. RISHTEY
  9. LAILA MAJNU
  10. LAMHE
  11. KRISHNA,
  12. LAMHE
  13. LASYA
  14. ZODIAC YATRA,
  15. TALL
  16. BOLLYWOOD DREAMS
  17. AND MANY MORE

Kamini’s anxiously awaited show The Big Fat Indian Wedding Sponsored by Jain Social Group which is aid of children’s heart surgery in partnership with M.P.Shah Hospital which will be commencing on 21st April till 23rd April 2017 and will be staged at Oshwal Center Auditorium.The show is almost fully sold out.

I have been honored with prestigious awards as shown under;

  1. KAL KE KALAKAR AWARD IN INDIA
  2. SHRINGARMANI AWARD IN BOMBAY, INDIA
  3. APPOINTED CULTURAL REPRESENTATIVE IN SHRI LANKA TO PROMOTE INDIAN ART
  4. JAYCEES AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ORIENTAL PERFORMER
  5. GIANTS AWARD FOR THE SHOW ASHIANA, BASED ON ENVIRONMENT
  6. IN 2006 A VISITING PERSONALITY OF THE ART OF LIVING FOUNDATION (SHRI SHRI RAVI SHANKER) HONOURED KAMINI AT A GRAND CEREMONY BY RECOGNISING HER CONTRIBUTION TO THE INDIAN ART AND CULTURE OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS IN KENYA
  7. TO MARK THE INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY THE INDIAN HIGH COMMISSION RECOCONISED KAMINI AS ONE THE OUTSTANDING WOMAN WHO HAS MADE AN IMPACT ON THE LOCAL ASIAN COMMUNITY.
  8. SHE WAS RECOGNISED BY THE WORLD BODY OF LOHANA COMMUNITY FOR HER OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO ART AND CULTURE IN KENYA.
  9. RECENTLY THE SCHOOL WAS INVITED TO DANCE AT THE STATE HOUSE FOR THE MADARAKA DAY CELEBRATIONS, AND HER STUDENTS WERE INVITED TO PERFORM AT ARIJITSSINGHS CONCERT AT KICC.
  10. THE SCHOOLCELEBRATED ITS 40 YEARS IN 2015

After having served the cause of Indian culture and dancing for over three decades and groomed numerous girls, who in their own right, perform and teach, ABOUT 200 GIRLS HAVE GRADUATED FROM HER DANCE SCHOOL

Thus KAMINIS SCHOOL OF DANCING continues to advance a unique facet of Indian culture in Kenya.

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First years

Sharing dance and culture was at the forefront of her plans and by having a solid background in Indian classical dancing it was time to take the next step. With no formal or systematic Indian classical dancing school in Kenya, there was definitely an opportunity there, but identifying that was only the beginning of the journey. Dedication and discipline were the most important values she had adopted while learning dance at the highest level. Incorporating these core values in her students as well as a strong awareness of the rich Indian heritage that went along with form of dance and performing arts.
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Kamini’s school of dancing

Starting Kamini’s school of dancing required the time, dedication and market research just like any other small business. Being very involved in the community proved to be very resourceful and she explored other avenues to get her name and the art out to the public. Peaking interest by giving a number of demonstrations and lectures about Bharat Natyam and how it would impact cultural growth and instill Indian culture in her students was how she created initial awareness of this art form. After teaching in extra-curricular classes in public schools and private lessons, more and more students were interested and it was time to open the doors to Kamini’s school of dancing. Her main goal and vision for Kamini’s school of dancing was to share her dreams and aspirations with her students. The school became an institution of systematic learning of classical dance with classes from level 1 to level 8 for all different age groups. Instilling discipline, dedication and a strong foundation of classical dance. Her students adhered to these values while learning and left with them after they graduated. All students that enroll in the school must pass through each level before moving on to the next. After reaching the final grade they have to prepare a two hour routine which has to be performed on stage on their own to graduate from the school. The official term for the final dance is referred to as an Arrangetram. It is a solo performance by the dancer and qualifies as graduation of the dancer and she is awarded a final diploma and the guru’s blessings.
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Productions and Musicals

Kaminis School of dancing is known for are their annual productions and musicals. Attention to detail and preparation for the productions were of the highest quality showcasing what her students were learning and more. Kamini’s instincts for theatre were unmatched and each aspect of dance presentation, music rhythm, costumes, lighting and space coverage were all meticulously attended to in all productions. Innovation in dance is one of the unique talents and part of Kamini’s vision and perceived evolution of her dancing school. This special imagination created a Niche in this part of the world that has inspired students and entertained audiences year after year and will continue to do so. She started the productions with traditional themes in the form of ballets with mythological themes and later moved towards contemporary themes. Kamini was able to explore her creativity through her ballets, Bharata Natyam primarily being a solo dance style, she was able to choreograph group routines which raised the bar and made the productions one of a kind and beautiful to watch. Her passion for dance and her students makes her carry on tirelessly and Kamini’s school of dancing will complete 38 years in 2014 and have their 21st annual production.
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