Over 2000 years old, this Indian artform, hails from Tamil Nadu. It gets its name from Bharata Muni, the writer of the Natyashastra, an ancient encyclopaedic treatise on performing arts.
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What is Bharatnatyam?
Infused with bhava, raaga and taala, this South Indian dance form, is perhaps the most famous dance form of India. Using Carnatic music for its representation, the dance direction is done by a 'Nattuvanar' giving the beats in sync with the footwork.
Learning Bharatnatyam At Sriguruji
The Learning Journey
We often get asked the time span for achieving expertise in a classical dance form. And more specifically in the case of Bharatnatyam, when the student will be ready to perform the famed ‘Arangetram’ (the first time a student steps on stage performing the entire Bharatanatyam repertoire). The answer is, when the Guru and the shishya, both, feel ready.
Beginners gain proficiency in the diverse ‘Adavus’ which form the basic unit of Bharatanatyam’s pure dance or Nritta element. Students learn the various hand mudras involved and the invocatory piece, Allaripu.
A stream of various items from pure dance to abhinaya, are then learnt by Intermediate level students.
At the Academy we wish to ensure that students get an all round training in the art form of their choice. This is why we insist that Advanced students and Post-Arangetrum students along with learning more and more intricate pieces, also learn the Nattuvangam which is the primary rhythmic instrument in Bharatanatyam which guides the dancers footwork.
The Academy conducts yearly Internal Assessments followed by a Parent Teacher Meeting to share the student’s learning curve. Sriguruji students undergo systematic practical and conceptual training and are encouraged to appear for Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Exams. These exams are optional. Every year, over 100 students training in Bharatanatyam, take these exams according to their progress in the art form.
Our Bharatnatyam Gurus
Kalishwaran Pillai was initiated into Bharatnatyam by his illustrious father and Guru, Kalaimamani Sri. T S Kadirvelu Pillai. He has a Masters from Nalanda in performing arts and is a sought after Nattuvanar. A recipient of Government of India scholarship in 2010, he has also been conferred the titles "Sringar Mani" and "Nalanda Nritya Nipuna".
Jenita Pillai has a Masters degree in Performing Arts from Nalanda Nrityakala Mahavidyalaya. She has been conferred the title 'Nalanda Nritya Nipuna' for her outstanding performance at the Nalanda Nrtiyotsav. She has been part of many a ballet productions. She has been teaching at Sriguruji Art Academy for over 5 years.