To impart rigorous training in the technique, expression and performance of Bharata Natyam, an ancient dance nurtured in southern India. Introducing students to its history and evolution, our training highlights Bharata Natyam.s role as a communicative device recreating themes from Indian legend. Our students are also exposed to its ability- as a language with an alphabet and vocabulary, to represent diverse stories and subjects.
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The academy consists of students from grades 1 thru12 and adults. The students are trained in Nritta (dance movement) and abhinaya (narrative expression) of Bharata Natyam. Simultaneously, the students take lessons on the cultural history of India, the form and function of Bharata Natyam, the language of gestures and movements, Indian mythology, and other classical dance forms. The curriculum focuses on Bharata Natyam and situates it within the larger framework of Indian Art and culture.
Vrindavan follows the Kalakshetra style of Bharata Natyam instruction. The initial period of training involves learning all of the basic steps (adavus) or movement patterns. Intermediate level students are introduced to traditional items in the Bharata Natyam repertoire that focus on Technique. Advanced students learn abhinaya including improvisation and presentation. Students get to display their skill in the Annual Recital.
Our annual recital is thematic and recognized for its neat presentation, organization, and range of pieces. Apart from the repertoire pieces, items include dramatic episodes, innovative ensembles, folk dances, and non-traditional choreography. Vrindavan dancers have collaborated with Eden Aoba Taiko and performed Bharata Natyam to Taiko drumming. Recent choreographies include Primavera from Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Brahmaputra - the life of a river, Fu Un, and Sita Kalyanam.
Vrindavan has successfully conducted twenty one arangetrams in its first decade. With its steady enrollment and structured instruction, multiple arangetrams are slated for performance each year.