Classes

Austin Dance India offers all levels of classes in traditional Bharata Natyam technique. Lessons begin with extensive time spent on practice of adavus, or series of steps, which are the building blocks of the dance. Along with this practical aspect, students learn theoretical terms in the form of Sanskrit verses from the text, Abhinaya Darpana. These verses contain explanation and detailed definitions of hand symbols, head and eye movements, positioning of the arms, stances, and more.

Students are expected to practice at home as they progress through the levels. The instructor will guide students and parents on how to develop a disciplined approach to a regular home practice that can make all the difference in a student’s progress.

ADI teaching philosophy emphasizes dance as a means of developing discipline, passion, self discovery, and mental focus. Instruction is based on thoughtfully developed approach by the Director that provides students with an opportunity to discover their own inner strengths as they progress. Although ADI’s students participate in community events and annual showcase, the emphasis is on learning/joy rather than performing/accolades. Each student can discover the strength, grace, beauty that lies within themselves as they go through the technique. This is the goal of ADI’s teaching philosophy.

Limited private lessons are also available to those who prefer an individualized program of study at an advanced level or an in depth look into particular aspects of the dance.

New Beginner

ADI Beginner Class

Students learn basic positions of legs, arms, and hand symbols through adavus, or series of steps. Through these adavus, eye hand coordination, transfer of weight, balance, focus, and fine motor skills are learned. This level typically last two years.

Beginner 2

ADI Beginner Class

Students learn basic positions of legs, arms, and hand symbols through adavus, or series of steps. Through these adavus, eye hand coordination, transfer of weight, balance, focus, and fine motor skills are learned. This level typically last two years.

Level I

ADI Level I Class

Students continue to learn increasingly complex adavus, or series of steps. Rhythmic patterns, strength, speed, and execution are emphasized at this level. The first dance, Alaripu is introduced at this level.

Level II

ADI Level II Class

As students refine their basic steps and gain more control, they learn Jatiswaram, a complex rhythmic dance which creates lengthy dance phrases built from the rhythmic patterns and steps that were taught earlier.

Level III

ADI Level III Class

Students learn basic positions of legs, arms, and hand symbols through adavus, or series of steps. Through these adavus, eye hand coordination, transfer of weight, balance, focus, and fine motor skills are learned. Expression of emotions and storytelling are introduced and practiced as more advanced sequences of abstract dance and expressive dance are combined.

 Adults/Teens

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This class is geared for mature students who want to learn the technique for exercise and interest. Instruction is given from an anatomical and analytical approach so that adults can understand and execute movements with understanding. Advanced classes continue with the introduction of traditional repertoire.

Open Class

This class is open to all Level II/III students for an intensive focus on elements such as footwork and rhythms, facial expressions, flow of movement, adavus, and core strength.

Arangetram

ADI Arangetram

The arangetram is the first full-length performance once a dancer has mastered the basic repertoire, which includes an entire suite of 8 dances. Pushpanjali, Alaripu, Jatiswaram, Shabdam, Varnam, two Padams, and Tillana are the traditional dances performed. At least one or two years of focused preparation is required prior to the arangetram. This involves intensive training, practice, and private one-on-one lessons. It is completely voluntary and any students choosing to perform their arangetram must first discuss this decision with their teacher at least 4 years in advance and enroll in two or more classes per week once they are past Level I.