Learning of Bharata Nâtyam
The teaching, after a greeting to the earth, to the divine forces and to the guru, the training begins with warm-up exercises, followed by the practice of the basic steps executed on rhythmic sequences. Initially, emphasis will be placed on the footwork exercices, then comes the coordination with the rest of the body. Always orchestrated by the rhythm, the movements include in the end the work of the feet, the trunk, the arms, the hands and the head.
The basic steps consist on poses and movements on the ground and in space. Some are executed on three levels: standing, half-folded and large-folded position, while others allow the moving by jumps, twirls, rotations and by different type of walking. Once learned and mastered they are chained in sequences.
The hands have an important role, each gesture expresses the essence of a word, symbolizes it and communicates its meaning. This codified language makes it possible to interpret poetic and narrative texts.
The movements of the neck, head and various parts of the face, especially the eyes, reinforce the movements of the lower and upper limbs of the body, in order to evoke the feelings and moods conveyed by the dance.
The physical, intellectual and emotional integration of this technique will then allow the interpretation of dances composing one or more repertoires.
Comments by students
“The learning of Bharata Nâtyam seems particularly interesting to me, because it is part of a long tradition and is thus the fruit of a complex elaboration (…). The beauty and difficulty of this dance are a major attraction, coupled with the quality of Chandikusum’s teaching.”
“I started Indian dance out of curiosity and with a desire to resume physical activity. Thanks to Chandikusum I discovered that Bharata Nâtyam is a concrete poetry and a philosophy in motion. With her passion, patience and requirement, she transmits her art and makes us travel through the movements and rhythms.”
“My father’s family originated in southern India, and I was very interested in Bharata Natyam from a very young age. From the age of 21, I started looking for a teacher for over a year until I attended the Chandikusum classes. From the first class, I realized that she was the teacher I needed, with the seriousness and discipline I was looking for.”
“An experienced teacher, Chandikusum knows how to convey the spirit of this dance and helps us to understand the cultural environment that gave birth to it. (…) The sequences that are taught in the second part of the course give a glimpse of the beauty that the high-level Bharata Nâtyam can provide.”
“The learning of this dance has given me greater control of my body, its balance, flexibility and endurance. Moreover, I became familiar with the rhythm, the language of the hands and the eyes and the theatricality inherent to this dance. This learning has enriched me enormously.”