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Can we learn Bharatnatyam online?

Having learnt the dance form in the traditional Guru-Shishya (Teacher-Student) mode with intimate physical lessons for 10 years, this is a question that I am trying to answer as well! But with the changing paradigms and thinking, people are trying to find newer ways to interact and help each other. The emergence of social networking sites is a case in point.

I am encouraged by the fact that there are resources that have tried to transfer knowledge on dance online and through books. A popular online resource that teaches dance is Learntodance.com. On the last count, the site has been bookmarked by 580 people on del.icio.us ! (search for dance). Another approach is a book on Bharatnatyam called “How To Bharatanatyam” (A Step By Step Approach to Learn the Classical Dance Form) by Jayalakshmi Eshwar.

The renowned Sri Devi Nrithyalaya has some good Videos and DVDs on Bharatanatyam. Interestingly, they are promising to provide an “online individual tuition” to study Bharatanatyam online. I would love to hear comments if any of you have enrolled for this course 🙂

So please stay tuned as we start the experiment on Bharatnatyam through this Blog. I intend to have a instructor style postings with Videos and images to help you get a hang of the basics on Bharatanatyam. Your comments will be a huge encouragement for me.

I must finally emphasize though that there is NO substitute to a traditional Guru to learn classical Indian dance.

167 Comments

  1. Sunnetha

    What are the basics?

    Can Americans do it?

    I have a kid, she wants to learn but we say no?

    What should I do?

    –Sunnetha–

  2. Nandita

    Hi anjali. I am a 23 yr old girl.I have been passionate about bharatanatyam from my childhood..But didnt get a chance to learn.Can I learn it now? At this age?

  3. sriloka radhakrishnan

    i have learnt bharathnatyam 10yrs before.now this site is really helpful to recollect the steps and able to teach and correct my daughter at home.now im practicing myself and giving practice to her also.thanku very much.

  4. Resmi-N

    hai…………….. iam also a trained barathanatyam dancer. And i appreciate your effort which u hav taken in online learning………

  5. Anjali

    Udaya, Shravanti and Resmi,
    Thanks for your comments. We can explore if online learning works for you. I shall mail you regarding this soon.

  6. Dr. Anita shanmuganathan

    As a dance teacher for the last 25 years, iam convinced that dance learning via technology is the best way to further learning process, provided the student and teacher have had a face-to-face interaction prior. This would help the teacher understand the physicality ( limitations, strengths) of the particular dancing body before submitting to technological learning. Again, how effective any program via technology or otherwise depends on the understanding between the teacher and the taught. I have just started teaching a student in Switzerlnd. we enjoy the process and are grateful for the many possibilities technology offers.

  7. Jayanthi

    Excellent to see this fusion with Bharatnatyam and technology. Any information you can make and post online will make the superset richer and more available to all students out there. I love your approach of trying this out and wish you success. Absolutely agreed that online cant beat a one-one student teacher style but can hugley supplement it. Its this approach that’s missing in our art. You are filling that void which is cool! JH

  8. natalia

    Thank you very much for your lessons and information,-i it is so interesting , beautiful and uplifting.

  9. MALINY

    Hi anjali,

    You have a good smile and it is a very good effort.

    I have started learning Bharathanatyam now when i am 27. I am sure your website and my guru together would definitely help me learn.

    Let me try my best and God bless you.

  10. richa tomar

    hi
    my self richa.i m non dancer girl,but really want to learn classical dance.i love classical dance.i have heard that classical dances can be learn from chilhood.is it true?i m a 20 years young girl who wants to learn the bharatnatyam.may i.please do reply

  11. allison rhodes

    i want to learn bharatanatyam im 12 yrs old in beckly west virginia beckley west apartments 529 newport court im american not hindu indian. american.i have black hair black eyes brown skin im white caucasion my number 13048601288 plz can i learn im into this

  12. Anjali

    Hello Allison, your mail Id seems to be incorrect, therefore had to answer you here. Learning bharatanatyam has got nothing to do with any race, religion, or colour. Its all about your passion and love to get started. Appreciate your interest in the art form. I offer personal online lessons to all who are interested. Please mail me your correct email id, I shall send you the details.

  13. Mevindraj

    HIe,
    I am facing lot of problem with my daughter’s bharatanatyam teacher. My daughter is 5 years old and learns very fast due to her interest in dancing. She has completed 6 items including 30 basics. Now her teacher is trying to bar her potential and being jealous of her coming out in newspaper and getting too many programmes. She is trying to avoid my daughter from teaching. She also claims that my daughter must only dance in performance with her permission because all she need is money from the organizer of the performance. She claim this is the way to be done. I get very dissapointed with her teacher who also charges us high fee compared to other students. Whenever we give her the organizers contact number, the first thing she ask is money for her as a fees but my daughter gets nothing. What i want is not money or present but my daughter to polish her talent and become great. Please help us. pleaseeeeeeeeeeee

  14. Anjali

    Hello Mevindraj,
    Your daughter is too young for such politics. What you need to focus on is her training, rather than exposing her to the newspapers, media and arranging programs etc. If she is outstanding she will definitely get opportunities. You do not have to work much on exposing her at this age. For the betterment of your child progress in arts, you much have a good Guru Shishya relationship. Talk good about the teacher and make her understand and feel good about her Guru. If you feel uncomfortable with the present teacher, look for another good teacher who can train her. Your daughter has a long way to go. Please concentrate on her lessons, training and imparting right attitude in life. With HIS grace and blessing, your daughter will do good.

  15. durga

    i like to learn dance but the situations does not permit to go out and learnle. to feel happy by learning online and little bit of satisfaction.thanking you mamdam.

  16. tanvee

    hello anjali…i have always been fascinated by this form of dance since childhood……but never got a chance to learn…im 17 years old and want to take up this dance form….can i pursue it at this age……..it wud be nice if u help………

  17. Meghna

    I am eagerly waiting to seek bharatanatyam. Please make it soon.
    I dont have any guru’s in nearby area. I am searching for such website. Your idea is good.

  18. Sowjanya

    Hi Anjali,

    I appreciate your effort. I have been to Bharatanatyam Classes in my childhood, but discontinued for my further studies. I am working as Professional Executive now. I always used to feel bad that I could not learn Bharatanatyam. This site has boosted my hopes like anything, and I wondered looking at your videos in Youtube later I visited onlinebharatanatyam.com site which is really awesome. Believe it or not I am practicing Bharatanatyam daily at whatever time I can be free.

    Regards,
    Sowjanya

  19. Shraddha

    Hi,
    Its a really wonderful website! i loved it. i learnt bharatanatyam just for a year and half. so i dont have a very good hold on the basics. This site has helped me a lot! Thank you!

  20. Nikhila

    Namaskar!!

    Hi Anjali, I have learned dance till Mohiniyattam when I was 14 years old. Now I am 25. I have started learning bharatanatyam through your website. Today was my first class. Your classes are very good. It helps a lot.
    Please accept me as your shishya and offer me your blessings.. Please instruct me how much time I should practice daily. I am working woman.
    Pranamam Guru!!!!!

  21. Gowri

    Dear Anjali,

    I am Gowri from London.I would like to learn bharathanatiyam as I could rather say that its my dream. when i waurtunitts in india I missed all mychances but now i am realsing that i could have joined and have done something so by the time i have just come across your website which sou nds really good.

    I just wanted to know is there any AGE restrications in learning?
    I am worried whether or not I can practice?
    Please instruct and guide me how much time I should practice in a day and How to . I am a working woman.

    Awaiting for your reply.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Gowri

  22. Anjali

    @Gawri, if you are interested you can begin any time. I would think that you are looking at Natyam as a way to relax after a busy schedule. So every day at least half an hour if you a can devote, that would be great. But you need a teacher who can correct you and not just by looking at some videos. Good luck!!!

  23. Sheelu

    Hello Anjali,
    I learnt bharatnatyam for one year 15 years ago. I have so badly wanted to complete what I started, but the idea of looking for online classes didn’t occur to me until a few days ago. I couldn’t believe myself when I came across your site. In one word, wow. And thanks. I have no wish to attain distinction as a dancer. I just want to learn to dance because I love dancing. After so many years, my body is stiff, stretching hurts and my posture is …umm…let’s just say it needs work….lots of work. Which is why love the simplicity of all of the adavu you have placed here. I have no idea if I can start learning again. Or if I will even have the discipline to keep practicing. No harm in trying though, isn’t it? 🙂

  24. Neena

    Your website is amazing! You are a very talented dancer 🙂 I’m 13 years old and started learning bharatanatyam because of your website. I loved bharatanatyam ever since i saw my aunt dance. But she lives in India, so I don’t get to see her much. So i have a question. Is it necessary to know all of the variations of the adavus?

  25. Anjali

    @ Neena, Thanks. It always good to know as many variation as you can. Just like in Math we solve number problems related to one topic.

  26. Mahnaz

    Hi mam, i really love to learn bharatanatyam but unfortunately i live ins weden n here is nowhere i can learn dancing, i was wondering as u mentioned there is DVD’s or videos able to learn how can i get these DVD’s could u plz hepl me. i would be greatfull. Thank you.

  27. Divyo

    Anjali Didi will You Please mail me some Allarippu Steps , Sollukettus/ Bols of Bharatanatyam ? Please Don’t send me any video. Only try send me written files and pictures . i will be waiting for your mail .

    Your loving brother
    Divyo

  28. Anjali

    @Divyo, all the sollus are available for download on the website. Check the index page>sollukettu section. let me know if you have any issues. Allarippu song you can buy online from sites like kalakendra and music india.

  29. Netto

    hi angali chechi, iam having my passion towards dance n have just did the beginning when i was at the age of 6. but later due to sme family issues i cudn’t continue.Now I hae got some gap and have a dead wish to learn classical dance.am beginning it from today. am currently in saudi. i hope ur class will be of gr8 use for me . and i’ll surely let you know about my progress n the way ur class is helping me freequently .thnking you for this gr8 effort that u have put up.

  30. pushpa m

    Namaskar.I am pushpa from Bangalore, India. My age is 32.I am learning bharatnatyam vazhoor style from 1 yr. so far i have completed adavus, alaripu,ganesha kautvam,abhogi jatiswaram.My problem is that i sweat too much and i am not able to do all these items contineously and i feel lack of energy and i get body pain especially knees and back. please suggest me to come out of this problem. your suggesations are more valuable for me. i dont have any health problems but i feel quiet stiffness in my back. you are doing really a great job. looking forward for yr valuable suggesation. Thanks

  31. Geethu Hareesh

    Ma’m,

    I am really passionate about classical dances such as Bharatanatyam, Mohiniaattam and Kuchipudi. I am not a trained dancer. This site gives me more information about the technical side of Bharatanatyam and I am thankful for the same

  32. smita

    Dear Anjali, I wonder how much time, energy and selfless service you have dedicated for this project. When I was young I use to think whether I would be able to learn classical dance in my life. Now I believe, I can.. Classical dance is like worship…Although not like traditional Guru-Shishya but definately in modern era you are more than a Guru…I am completely a novice..but certainly I will learn this beautiful art.
    heartiest thanks and wish you success in all endeavours of life…
    Regards…Smita

  33. Rita Som Paul

    I think its gr8 that u r giving us this supplementary information. I will be looking forward to your site. i am learning Bharatnatyam and will be sitting 1st yr exam in may.

  34. Harsimran

    Finally i got someone who is teaching the amazing dance form online. Really appreciate your efforts. and plz keep posting so that we could learn something from you.

    Regards,

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