We offer a range of Indian arts classes across North Indian and South Indian music and dance traditions. Below is a list of classes currently on offer for the Winter/ Spring 2023 term:
A beautiful Indian Classical Dance form traditionally attributed to the travelling bards in ancient North of India called ‘Kathakars’ or storytellers. Stylistically, the Kathak dance form emphasizes rhythmic foot movements, adorned with small bells (Ghungroo) and the movement harmonized to the music. The legs and torso are generally straight, and the story is told through a developed vocabulary based on the gestures of arms and upper body movement, facial expressions, neck movements, eyes and eyebrow movement , stage movements, bends and turns. Watch inspirational Kathak dancer Sanjukta Sinha perform:
Bharatanatyam is a beautiful dance form from Tamil Nadu and is often described as a combination of Bha +Ra +Ta i.e Bhava (expression)+Ragam( music) +Talam (rhythm) and Natyam means dance. Bharatanatyam is traditionally performed as a solo art form, traditionally accompanied by musicians and a singer or two. The theory behind the musical notes, vocal performance and the dance movement trace back to the ancient text ‘Natya Shastra’, and many Sanskrit and Tamil texts such as the ‘Abhinaya Darpana’. Watch the incredible Bharatanatyam dancer Harinie Jeevitha work her magic in this special recording commissioned by Milap:
A tabla is a pair of small hand drums . Since the 18th century, it has been the principal percussion instrument in Hindustani music, where it may be played solo, as accompaniment with other instruments and vocals, and as a part of larger ensembles. The playing technique is complex and involves extensive use of the fingers and palms in various configurations to create a wide variety of different sounds and rhythms, reflected in mnemonic syllables. To get an idea of what this looks and sounds like, check out our Artist in Residence and world renowned Tabla artist, Kousic Sen in concert:
Originally created in the south of India, the veena is a large plucked string instrument. The veena in many parts of the country has different variations which are Rudra Veena, Sarasvati Veena and Vichitra Veena. The even is a much-loved instrument of India and is usually performed within the Carnatic music genre. Watch one of our favourite Veena artists, Jayanthi Kumaresh :
Carnatic vocal is predominantly from the South of India. The basic elements of the carnatic vocal are stuti, swara, raga and tala. Carnatic music is taught and learned through compositions, which encode many intricate musical details, also providing scope for free improvisation. Nearly every rendition of a Carnatic music composition is different and unique as it embodies elements of the composer’s vision, as well as the musician’s interpretation. Listen to Carnatic vocal superstar Bombay Jayashri perform :
Hindustani classical music finds its roots in north India. It’s distinctly different and yet finds common ground in certain ragas with Carnatic music. The delivery of notes, raga exploration and presentation is unique. The genre is largely based around improvisation and artist interpretation, and there is an influence of Perso-Arab musical styling giving this genre it’s own special flavour. Listen to amazing Hindustani singer Kaushiki Chakraborty here:
Indian Dance Moves
This course we will be exploring Bharatanatyam in a suitable way for ages 5-8. The approach will help to lay the foundations for the more technical learning, but in a fun and accessible way.
A class simply for the joy of singing! Learn musical technique while singing along to your favourite Hindi songs / Bhajans / Keertans etc. This virtual class is open to all age groups and is a great way to meet new people and share your love of music from the comfort of your own home.
Adavu’s Everywhere – New!
This is the perfect class for classically trained dancers who are looking for extra motivation to brush up on and practice adavu’s and dance technique. Whether you’re a seasoned performer or someone who hasn’t danced in years but would love to get back into it, this is a fun and easy way to do it from the comfort of your living room. Open to intermediate/advanced dancers trained in Bharatanatyam/ Kathak/Kuchipudi. This class will be led by a different artist each week and can be joined by anyone across the globe.