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COURSE OUTLINE:

This course is designed for those who want to learn Kathak: the traditional Indian art form where the dancer is a story-teller. The purpose of this physical narration goes well beyond entertainment or virtuosity in its attempt to reach an understanding of nature—or God.

Those are the ambitions of the accomplished Kathak dancer. By signing up with Ta ta thei, the student takes the first, small, rhythmic, steps along that long path.

The course will begin with a primer that helps the student understand 'taal', or rhythm. This is critical in Kathak. Of all Indian dance forms, 'taal' is most visible in Kathak, so this, like all other aspects of the course will remain a work in progress. Once a degree of proficiency is reached, students will be introduced to basic dance steps, or footwork.
Once the basics of rhythm and footwork are in place, the student is guided to use these tools to execute choreographed movements using the whole body. As we go along, there will also be a moderate amount of written work that enables the student not just to get familiar with notations, but also with the history of the form.

The most evolved, difficult—and rewarding—part of Kathak then follows. This is called 'Abhinaya': the act of telling a story. It is this combination of rhythm, choregraphy and abhinaya  that makes the narrative of kathak recitals so compelling.

WHO WILL TEACH:
Meghna Kothari is an actress by profession and a dancer by training. She has worked with film-makers of the calibre of Shyam Benegal, Feroz Khan and Gurinder Chadha, in roles across genres. In theatre, she has worked with the legendary Ebrahim Alkazi. But her core training--and her first love--is dance. She learned Kathak for years under the tutelage of the peerless Pandit Birju Maharaj. 

Meghana's other identity is as an actress in Bollywood and of stage. (Prem Aggan, Bride & Prejudice; Alakzi,couple of well known productions)

WHERE: 
A 81 Kaladham,  Knowledge Park 2, Greater Noida, UP, 201308

COURSE DURATION: 

Three days a week - Monday, Wednesday , Friday.
A minimum of six months, with the option to continue.

Timings:
5.30pm to 6.30pm

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

The primary requirement is a six-month commitment on the part of the student. We encourage you to read the attached curriculum before taking a decision. Its comprehensive nature will explain the duration requirements more fully.
We encourage applications from students of all ages. Learning a dance form early is a lifelong asset. But for those who have an interest, it is never too late. Dance is also a great way to remain fit and energetic. We are open to all comers!

MILESTONES
We will do an appraisal and a class performance / demonstration at the end of every quarter and organise a small event (at our cost) where students will be rewarded for their progress and dedication. 

COURSE FEE:

Rs. 4,000 per month. 
Structured as follows: Rs 12,000 at registration; Rs. 2,000 per month for six months thereafter.
There are no hidden costs: we take care of all equipment required.

The syllabus covered will be as under in the given sequence as the student progresses:
     
Pure Dance (Nritta)
Namashkar (Pranam)
The dancer pays his/her respect to God, the teacher or Guru, and the stage or rangmanch before the starting the dance.

Introduction to Taal
Taal : Teen Taal – 16 Beats (Matra) Rhythm Cycle or Avartan 
4 divisions or Vibhag of 4 Beats (Matra) highlighting Sum, Taali, and Khali.
Sum: It is the first beat of any taal. In Kathak tha dancer mostly highlights the retun to "Sum" after completing a time cycle. Sum is accented more than any other beats. Sum is denoted by the sign ‘X’.

Taali: Taali is a clap, also called Bhari. Besides Taal has beats where you clap. In Teen Taal, you clap on the 1, 5 and 13th beat or matras.
Khali: The beat (matra) of the Taal where you don't clap, but gesture. Sum is denoted by the sign ‘O’.
Tabla Bol / Theka (rhythmic words – name given to the instrument's sound beat )   

Laya is Rythm or Tempo ; a continuous movement in space of time.

Vilambit Laya is the slow tempo
Madhya laya is a medium tempo
Drut Laya is the fast tempo

Tatkar 
Kathak's foundational footwork (stomping) is called Tatkar which demonstrates the taal. The feet beat out rhythms counted or spoken in bols/ syllables.  For example natawari bols - ta, thei, and tat are used in teentaal.

Natawara another name for the deity Lord Krishna, meaning “Lord of the dance” or “best among dancers.” It is believed that when Natawara subdued the monster-serpent Kaliya and danced on its hood, the sound ta, thei and tat were produced.

In kathak, the idea of worship through dance involves the spiritual relationship of the dancer in contact with the earth, in order to reach God.

Ta, body (from Tan) 

Thei, Earth (from Sthel) 

Ei, Lord (from Eishwar)

The body that dances on the earth for the Lord.

Tatkar in dugun (2 bols in one beat) and chaugun (4 bols in one beat).

I
a. Jhoomna : To sway to the 16 beat rhythmic cycle Teen Taal.

b. Taal Padhant : Vocal recitation of Taal along with claps demonstrating - Sum, Tali and Khali

c.
Written work 
Taal notations
Tatkar notation

II
Kathak dance steps consisting solely of footwork:
a. Tihai : Repetition of any Beat, or rhythmic word/phrase (Bol) three times ending on Sum is Tihai. 

b. Chakradar Tihai : a Tihai a starting from sum and repeated through three cycles or avartan and ending in sum.

c. Laari : In Teen Taal -16 beat rhythmic cycle – various patterns maintaining one theme demonstrated through footwork        ending in a Tihai.

III
Kathak dance choreography - Full body movement along with footwork in Taal:
a. Salami : A salutation performed in the beginning of the performance as dancer honours the audience. 

b. Aamad : Aamad is a persian word meaning 'Entry', in this dancer presents himself / herself to the audience,  takes-up the position with a definite posture of the Kathak dance. It is performance of a small a composition based on Natvari bol.
c. Tukra and Toda : The dance is choreographed with bols (rhythmic words) which serve both as mnemonics to the composition, borrowed from tabla (e.g. dha, ge, na, tirakita) or can be a dance variety (ta, thei, tat, ta ta, tigda, digdig  and so on). All compositions are performed so that the final step and beat of the composition lands on the 'sum' or first beat of the rhythmic cycle.

Paran : Dance composition using bols from the Pakhawaj instead of only dance or Tabla bols.

d. Parmellu : Dance composition using bols reminiscent of sounds from nature.
e. Tarana : A choreography based on hindustani classical music form Tarana - a melodious rendition of a Raag  using certain syllables e.g. "odani", "todani", "tadeem" and "yalali" performed in different laya .
f.  Written Work : Write the composition or Bandish with Taal notations.

g. Padhant : Clap-marked recitation of a dance compositions in bols (rhythmic words) in taal - an integral part of the Kathak dance performance. 
IV
Nritya: Nritta + Abhinaya = Nritya
Angik – Body Movement, Vaachik – Speech, Satvik - Expressions

a. Kavit : This is a poem set on a time-cycle; the dancer performs to enact the meaning of the poem.

b. Gat Nikas and Gat Bhav ; Palta, Chaal : Gat means gait. This dance composition uses Paltas or half turns, a variety of walks or chaal, followed by a character's introduction. Dancer can adorn various characters such as Krishn symbolized by murli, Radha by veil (ghungat) or pitcher (matki), jhapka ( a head ornament) or gestures/symbols (ruksaar or andaz or alingan) etc. Dancer can also use Chaals of various types such as Gajanani Chal (walk like an elephant), Morni Chal (walk       like a peacock) etc to portray an animal or bird. 
Gat Bhav : A choreography that uses elements of Gat Nikas along with acting or Abhinay and narrates a scene from daily life. Dancer using Paltas or half turns introduces one or more characters of the story and portrays their emotions or Bhav in various situations, like that mischief or chedchad during paniya bharan (Panghat) and makhan chori etc. 

c. Vandana : Invoking the all mighty / Seeking Blessings
Saraswati
Ganesh
Shiv

d. Thumri : Acting or Abhinay  in kathak based on thumri – a semi classical hindustani music composition. The kathakaar enacts a narrative which is a complete episode in the life of the  character he or she plays. Kathak uses minimum mudras, simple movements and is depends on most realistic facial expressions, enough to portray the emotion as compared to other Indian Classical Dance Forms.