What is Bharatanatyam?
The word Bharatanatyam combines Bhavam meaning expression, ragam meaning music, talam meaning rhythm and natyam meaning dance.
This Art form takes its roots from a tradition that was carried forward from the temples of Southern India. Lord Shiva in his Nataraja form is considered the God of this dance.
Bharata Natyam, it is said, is the embodiment of music in visual form, a ceremony, and an act of devotion. Bharatanatyam is known for its grace, elegance, purity, tenderness, expression and sculpturesque poses.
What is the right age to start learning Bharatanatyam?
The recommended age to start learning Bharatanatyam is 5, however if a child has an aptitude for discipline, it can be started earlier than 5.
As in the case of learning any classical art form, there is an element of technique.
Bharatanatyam dates back to centuries old practice of combining dance with music to convey bhakti. A student when performing Bharatanatyam learns to achieve proper form, emotion, endurance, skill, flexibility, stamina and concentration.
Besides the above mentioned, it also allows them to appreciate the unique craft of Ancient India where a slight turn of neck or various ways of eye movements convey variety of bhaavas.
They learn to develop and refine the motor skills, improve memory as they repeat the steps in sequence and eventually appreciate the group aesthetics. Students slowly start following the classical music and hone their auditory senses to match their physical speed, all while creating a beautiful harmony of dance.
When will a student give their first stage performance?
Stage performance is an important milestone. It requires at least a year or 2 of learning and hours of practice before you present your talents on the stage.
What is Arangetram?
In social context, Arangetram suggests a public debut and the first formal stage presentation. It does not mark the completion of learning. In ancient India, Arangetram was a show of talent to the patron who sponsored the student to the Guru. The ascension to the stage. The audience would decide if the Guru and Shishya were to be commended.
In a contemporary environment it is a promotion of a student from amateur to skilled dancer.
Does Arangetram mean that the student has completed her learning?
This student may now assist in teaching other students as well as continue on to more complicated chapters of Bharatanatyam levels. It is the equivalent of getting a high school diploma.
How many years does it take for a student to reach her/his arangetram year
Arangetram training requires almost a year of training and consistent hours of hard work and tenacity. A joint decision by Guru and Shishya precede for the training initiation. A student needs to dedicate minimum 8,9 years of tutelage under the Guru prior to reaching this stage.