Sarvavidya Natyaalaya (SVN), a nonprofit organisation based in Gauteng, South Africa, was co-founded by Anusha Pillay, Reshma Chhiba and Panna Bhaga in 2010. The mission of the school is to promote Indian art and culture within contemporary South Africa. Its founders studied under the tutelage of Smt. Satya Bhama, disciple of Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, Kalakshetra. While we specialize in Bharata Natyam it is our hope that the institution will eventually flourish into a holistic learning centre, which incorporates all aspects of creativity that includes dance, music, visual arts, and at the same time be steeped in spirituality through yoga, meditation and the study of Hindu mythology. Our hope is that even if students do not go on to pursue the arts, that we make some contribution in creating a society that is refined and appreciative of the intricacies of ancient Indian arts and spirituality.
Our school name, Sarvavidya Natyaalaya is derived from the 1008 names of Shakti, that is, Sarvavidyamayi. Sarva meaning everything or all and vidya meaning knowledge, thus in this form she is the goddess who encompasses all forms of knowledge. It is this level of knowledge and teaching that we strive towards, where we are able to teach not only dance, but also music, language and visual art. We dedicate all our teaching to the great masculine and feminine energies of the universe. The celestial coupling of the dormant Shiva consciousness and the power and energy of Shakti is one that creates the subtle and harmonious balance within the universe. With this in mind, we aim to connect to these aspects of divinity through the expression of dance.