Dance Syllabus - Year I
FIRST (1 ST) YEAR
This elementary course in Indian dance is taught through a four-year syllabus. The classes run concurrently with the school’s academic year; three terms of roughly 13 weeks each. The course is offered in both the theoretical and practical aspects of the dance, both Kathak Classical and Indian folk dance.
This First Year Course (elementary level) provides some basic information on Kathak classical and Indian folk dance. It orients and prepares the student for a systematic and sustained approach to Indian dance both at the Kathak classical and the Indian folk dance level.
Objective of Course
To introduce students to the world of dance in general, through movements and moods, with the accompaniment of vocal and instrumental music.
To introduce a comprehensive, systematic and structured course of study on Indian dance beginning with the elements of Kathak Classical and Indian Folk dances on a phased basis.
Simple definitions of technical terms used both in Indian music and dance:
Dance, Kathak Classical dance, Bol, Matra, Taal, Sama, Khāli, Taali, Theka, Tatkar, Thāgun, Dugun, Chaugun, Laya, Mudra, Namaskar, Tihaie and Tukra.
i General: Training in basic movements of the body and its various parts to prepare it for dance. This involves exercises (yoga) to activate the body, isolate and activate some of its different parts to make it (the body) supple for performing movements and depicting various moods or emotions. This includes training in the basic movements of the head, eyes, eyebrows, neck, shoulders, hands, feet etc. in rhythm with proper breathing technique.
ii Rudimentary Kathak:
iii Introduction of the basic positions and postures of the body that are characteristic of Kathak classical dance.
iv Introduction to the understanding of Indian rhythm and to Teen Taal (a rhythmic time cycle of 16 beats). Ability to perform teen taal in single, double and quadruple speeds on the feet.
v Performance of combinations of foot movements (tatkar) with basic hand movements (hastak) in single, double and quadruple speeds and combinations of these into simple Kathak dance sequences such as; Teen Taal, Tihaie, Thaat, Amad, Rang manch ka puja, Tukra, Mudra/hastak, Mudra, Introduction to Guru Vandana
vi Introduction to Indian folk dancing: Training in some basic Indian folk dance steps and simple dance sequences will be imparted and practiced.
Note; Students are required to bring their ghungroos (dancing bells) to the class in order to receive and execute the practical instructions.
Dance: Kathak Classical Dance (Short Definition)
The word Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha which means a story. The Kathak or Kathakar is the person who uses movements of the body, limbs and facial expressions in a particular style and in rhythm to tell the story.
Kathak is one of the many classical Indian dances. It originated in Northern India. Its history is as ancient as the country itself. Its characterised features are graceful linear, curvilinear and rounded movements and shapes; variations of pirouettes or chakkars, and combinations and permutations of rapid foot movements or tatkar. An exciting feature of the Kathak performance is the dancer reciting the various dance sequences within the rhythmic structure of the presentation and then performing them to live accompaniment.
Like all Indian classical dances, Kathak also comprises three components; Nrit or pure dance, emphasising the technical aspects of the respective dance technique of the particular style of dance. The Nritya is expressive dancing using a combination of facial expressions or "Bhava", also referred to as abhinaya. The Natya or Nritya Nataka is dramatic dancing, used in storytelling, balletic pieces.
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