Practice app for Bharatanatyam

  • Ananda Shankar conceptualizes ‘Natyarambha’

Hyderabad: To enable classical dance students practice and hone their ‘adavus’ outside the classroom and provide teachers and gurus with a useful training tool, acclaimed dancer, scholar, speaker, writer and guru Ananda Shankar Jayant has conceptualized  a unique web application ‘Natyarambha’ that serves as a personal Bharatanatyam coach.

“The first-of-its-kind Bharatanatyam practice app, scheduled to be launched on January 22, is inspired by the Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative and aims to motivate students to practice and rehearse their basic training beyond the classroom’,” says Ananda, one of India’s eminent dancers, who has been teaching and choreographing dance for over four decades.

In today’s fast paced lifestyles, formal training in Bharatanatyam, by the teacher, is only feasible for a few hours a week, making practice at home by the student imperative. Many students find this difficult for want of guidance at home. “Natyarambha,” she says, “bridges the gap between class room training and home practice.”

“It comes with detailed guidance, mnemonics, music, and visuals, replicating the format of a Bharatanatyam class, and a range of practice options that will make practice at home easy, exciting, and stimulating for students; who will now have a ready digital access similar to the dance class, that is also interactive and engaging,” says the dancer.

Available across various devices, and based on an annual subscription model — Natyarambha is an online practice tool, that necessitates learning from a guru, and yet provides linkages between the guru and home practice — a digital access to quality practice and training modules for home practice that will transform the teaching, learning and practice of Bharatanatyam.

Natyarambha, has been produced and created by Shankarananda Kalakshetra, the Hyderabad-based not-for-profit institution set up by Dr Ananda. Senior software professional and Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher, Sneha Magapu, heading Project Natyarambha, has enabled a traditional dance form ride the technology wave, by synergising her unique skill of a software professional and a Bharatanatyam dancer.

Praising the innovation, danseuse, Guru, and Navaratna of India, Dr Sonal Mansingh says, “This app has come as a blessing at the right moment for all ages cutting across languages, gender and nationality and promises to become teacher, friend and inspirer to dancers and Rasikas.”

“I recommend every Bharatanatyam artiste to subscribe to this new innovative and meticulously crafted web system by a stalwart,” says renowned dance guru VP Dhananjayan. “Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant has shown farsightedness in developing this app’, adds, renowned dancer Chitra Visweswaran. Dancer, scholar and cultural activist, Anita Ratnam said “Natyarambha creates the platform to synergise practice, knowledge, rehearsal and a sense of community on a global cyber dance class.” -NSS

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