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Bharatanatyam 5-week Series for MayDay In-person With Janani Lakshmanan
March 31, 2023, @ 5:45 pm - May 5, 2023, @ 6:45 pm HST
Fridays, 5:45-6:45pm HST
Mar 31- May 5, 2023*
*Except April 7, 2023
$115 plus tax- regular rate
$95 plus tax – starving artist rate
Students will have the opportunity to perform in Still & Moving’s MayDay celebration May 6, 2023
“Throughout my professional dance career, the rhythmical structures that I learned in Indian dance class gave me an edge over my fellow ballet and contemporary dancers. It empowered me with the ability to easily process choreographic sequences and retain patterns of movement.”
– Neela Vadivel, former dancer at Cirque du Soleil
What is Bharatanatyam? And why would we want to learn it? Bharatanatyam is the oldest and most widely performed of the eight classical Indian dance forms. The components of the name – Bhava-Raga-Tala-Natyam – refer to emotions, musicality, rhythm, and performance. These combine to create a captivating storytelling art-form. Through it we learn agility, grace, and expressivity. We get a great work-out in practicing it, all while experiencing a sense of the sacred.
Your teacher will give you elementary training in adavus, the building blocks that make up the rhythmic components of Bharatanatyam dance. You will also learn hastas, the elaborate hand gestures that form the emotive components. By the end of the series, you will have learned and be able to perform a beautiful invocatory Bharatanatyam piece.
Meanwhile, you will gain a fundamental awareness of your body, develop strength and isolation of musculature, and focus on the effect of facial expression on dance. You will learn the elementary principles of rasa, a concept of empathy between performer and audience unique to Indian classical art.
Bharatanatyam is deeply entwined with the spiritual traditions of India and Hinduism. You will be invited to participate in the traditional namaskaram, a prayer thanking Mother Earth, at every class. The precepts of Bharatanatyam training require that, out of respect to Mother Earth, the dance is practiced barefoot.
You can bring to class a scarf/dupatta, which you will learn tie around the waist, to enhance body awareness. Besides that, wear whatever you feel comfortable dancing in.
Bharatanatyam is a rigorous classical dance, and can require modification to work best in each dancer’s body. Please inform your instructor of any injuries or discomfort. Keep the body safe and get fit with this delightful dance form!
Janani Lakshmanan began studying the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam at the age of five, and has been considered a senior performer since 2014, upon the completion of her Salangai Pooja, or commencement ceremony. She completed her professional stage debut, her Arangetram, in India in December 2016. She is a student/instructor with Sampradaya Dance of India (Chandler, Arizona, dir. Nita Mallya), and has been an active member in collegiate Indian classical art groups (Emory University, Arizona State University). She has been invited to organize, write, co-direct, and perform at events promoting the welfare of underprivileged communities in India. She has led workshops and performed at venues around the world. Janani was recognized by the Government of India’s cultural arts bureau, Doordarshan, with a Professional Artist’s Grading in March 2019. She is also a practitioner of Nattuvangam, rhythmic beat-keeping unique to Indian classical dance, as an accompanist to live orchestras and performers. She is studying Sanskrit and Tamil, to improve her connection to the ancient texts and stories that inspire her art. Janani is currently a student affiliate at the East West Center. She is currently a doctoral student in the Mathematics program at University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is working on research combining her two loves: classical dance and pure mathematics.
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