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Bharatanatyam Workshops. In-person With Janani Lakshmanan

July 15, 2023, @ 11:30 am - July 22, 2023, @ 1:30 pm HST

Saturdays, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm HST
July 15 & 22, 2023

Regular price:
$39 for 1 workshop
$65 for 2 workshops


Starving artist rates:
$29 for 1 workshop
$50 for 2 workshops

*Get 10% off Janani’s upcoming Diwali Fall Dance series if you attend both workshops.

 “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


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 artform with emphasis on agility, grace, and expression.

The first workshop will focus on fundamentals of the physicality of Bharatanatyam. Students will gain familiarity with thattimettu adavu. This is an elementary rhythmic building block of Bharatanatyam, and is unique in that it offers a new way to think of the rhythm of a piece as a tool in expression. Students will learn of the jati concept of the Indian classical music system as it applies to Bharatanatyam. 

The second workshop will focus on emotive fundamentals of rasa in Bharatanatyam. Students will learn about the usage of certain hastas and practice innovating their own. Students will learn some basic abhinaya techniques, and how body language impacts the process of a dancer. 

Participants in both workshops will gain a heightened awareness of their body, notice isolation of musculature, and focus on the effect of expression on dance. Students 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. Students will be encouraged to participate in the traditional namaskaram, a prayer thanking Mother Earth, every class. The precepts of Bharatanatyam training require that, out of respect to Mother Earth, the dance is practiced barefoot. Students can bring a scarf/dupatta to class. They will be instructed on how to tie it around the waist, to enhance body awareness. Students can wear whatever they are comfortable dancing in.

Bharatanatyam is a rigorous classical dance and can require modification for each dancer’s body. Please inform your instructor of any discomfort or injuries.

Janani Lakshmanan

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.

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July 15, 2023, @ 11:30 am HST
July 22, 2023, @ 1:30 pm HST
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HI United States