Summer 2003

Fundamentals of Indian Classical Dance: Bharatanatyam


06/23/2003 - 07/10/2003
Monday-Thursday 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Theater East

Indian classical dance is a complex and dynamic art form with many major styles and a rich aesthetic history. In this course students will explore the fundamental aesthetic and social contexts underscoring the culture of dance from the Indian subcontinent, in both its indigenous and modern contexts. Seven major "classical" dance styles from various geo-cultural zones of the Indian subcontinent will be studied through class lectures and discussions. Students will also learn to perform elements of one dance style, Bharatanatyam, in order to gain a specialized understanding of the technique, critical history and changing nature of Indian dance. Bharatanatyam technique will be studied through simple classroom practice in the form of rhythmic and interpretive exercises. Approaching the topic in a steadily comprehensive manner, the course assumes no prior knowledge of Indian dance, and although previous movement experience is encouraged, it is not required.

Class lectures will be complemented by extensive audio-video presentations. Reading assignments, available as a course packet, include: Farley P. Richmond, "Origins of Sanskrit Theatre;" A.K. Ramanujan, et al., When God is a Customer: Teluga Courtesan Songs by Ksetrayya and Others; Amrit Srinivasan, "Reform or Continuity? Temple "Prostitution" and the Community in the Madras Presidency;" Matthew Harp Allen, "Rewriting the Script for South Indian Dance;" Arudra, "Kuchipudi-The Abode of Dance;" Mekhala Natavar, "Music and Dance: Northern Area;" Frederique-Apffel Marglin, "Refining the Body: Transformative Emotion in Ritual Dance;" Phillip B. Zarrilli, "Kathakali;" Ananya Chatterjea, "Chandralekha: Negotiating the Female Body and Movement in Cultural/Political Signification." Grades will be based on class participation/attendance, group dance projects (there will be no collective performance at the end of the course), one seven-page response paper, and a 12-page final paper.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Studio

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

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