ABOUT KATHAK AND CHHANDIKA INSTITUTE OF KATHAK DANCE
Kathak is among the eight major classical dances of India. The word Kathak is derived from kathak meaning “the art of storytelling.” It is also synonymous with the community of artists known as Kathakas, who would use dance, music and mime to bring to life the great scriptures and epics. From its early form as a devotional expression, Kathak gradually moved out of the temples and into the courts of the Hindu maharjas and the Muslim nawabs. In the Hindu courts of the vast semi-desert of Rajasthan, Kathak developed in the Jaipur gharana (school), a regional style emphasizing the technical mastery of pure dance. To the east, in the court of Wajid Ali Shah, the dance emphasized dramatic and sensuous qualities with with the refinement characteristic of the Lucknow gharana. Today, the art form has evolved into a dance presentation characterized by fast footwork, lightning pirouettes, rhythmic complexity, dramatic storytelling, improvisation and poetic expression.
One of the most dynamic and far-reaching artists to have emerged from modern India, Pandit Chitresh Das has influenced the art form world-wide. Trained from the age of nine by his guru Pandit Ram Narayan Misra, Pdt Das was schooled in both the Lucknow and Jaipur schools of dance. Pdt. Das continues to explore the boundaries of Kathak technique and performance, including developing the innovative technique of Kathak Yoga. As a committed guru, he has trained many dancers and founded the Chhandam School of Kathak, one of the largest Indian classical dance institutions in the world. For a detailed biography of Pandit Chitresh Das, please click here.
The Chhandam Institute of Kathak Dance (Chhandika) is a 501©(3) non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and contributing to the rich tradition of Kathak dance. Based in Massachusetts, Chhandika was founded in 2001 by Gretchen Hayden, a senior disciple of Pdt Chitresh Das. After studying for over 20 years, performing as a principal soloist in the Chitresh Das Dance Company and teaching at the Chhandam School in California, she moved to Boston in 1992 and established kathak classes in the greater Boston area.. Ms. Hayden has also initiated accredited Kathak dance courses at Tufts University and Wellesley College and is a regular lecturer at MIT. For a detailed biography of Ms. Hayden, please click here.
OUR INSTRUCTOR :
Shefali Jain has been studying Kathak at Chhandika for the past 10 years under Gretchen Hayden and has recently begun training with Pdt. Das. She has performed throughout the greater Boston and New York City areas, as both a solo performer and a dancer in group ensembles, including performing with the Chitresh Das Dance Company in its Boston production of Sita Haran. Shefali is also committed to passing the tradition of Kathak down to the next generations, teaching first at Yale University while she was a student there and now at Chhandika as a senior instructor and co-director of the Chhandika Youth Ensemble.
“Kathak opens a gateway to knowledge. Access to this knowledge comes only through years of systematic study and practice in front of the teacher and alone with oneself.” – Pandit Chitresh Das
As has been passed down through the generations, the basic principles of study in the Kathak tradition embody the body, mind and spirit:
- Tayari (readiness) – virtuosity of technique acquired through systematic practice
- Layakari – deep understanding and versatility of rhythm and timing
- Khubsurti and Nazakat (beauty and delicacy) – aesthetics of the art and the refined subtlety of rendering expression
Each student learns the following aspects of dance:
- Nritta (pure dance, technique): includes movement exercises, basic tatkar (footwork), chakkars (turns), rhythmic patterns and timing; recitation of bols (language of the dance)
- Nritya (dance with rhythm and expression): use of interpretive gestures, expression and rendering of traditional songs and poems
- Natya (drama): learning the art of storytelling, the nava rasa (nine sentiments), working with ardhanariswara-shiva/shakti (masculine/ feminine energies)
Kathak Basics—Beginnners and Level I Classes
These beginner classes give students a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of kathak dance including: pranam, tatkar and various step/footwork patterns, kharanths (stances), tal (rhythmic structures, recitation, hastaks (hand gestures), chakkars (spins), abhinaya (expression) and bols (recitation of dance compositions). Elements of storytelling and music are included, along with information about the cultural influences and history of Kathak. Students are given an initial introduction to the concept of Kathak Yoga.
Kathak Preparations—Girls/Boys ages 4-6
These classes combine structure with playfulness to create and enjoyable environment for children to begin learning elements of classical Kathak dance.
Kathak Foundations—Girls/Boys ages 6-10
In these classes young students learn such fundamentals as: pranam, tatkar and footwork patterns, technique, rhythmic structures, recitation, hand gestures, stances, spins, facial expressions. Elements of storytelling and music are included, along with information about the cultural influences and history of Kathak.
Class Duration - 1 hour every week
Fees: $264 for 12 week session ($22/class)
Students: 5 – 12 students per class
Location: 12 A Street, Burlington, MA 01803
- Wednesday: 6 - 7 pm (Kids) - (March-June session - 12 classes) - Starts March 30th - Taught by Gretchen Hayden
- Wednesday: 7 - 8 pm (Adults) - (March-June session - 12 classes) - Starts March 30th - Taught by Gretchen Hayden
- Saturday: 9 -10 am (Teens) - (March-June session - 12 classes) - FULL - Taught by Shefali Jain
- Saturday: 10-11 am (Kids 9-13 yrs) - (March-June session - 12 classes) - FULL - Taught by Shefali Jain
- Saturday: 11-12 pm (Kids 5-9 yrs) - (March-June session - 12 classes) - Taught by Shefali Jain
- Saturday: 12- 1 pm (Adults) - (March-June session - 12 classes) - Taught by Shefali Jain
To manually register and pay by check/cash - please click on "MANUAL REGISTRATION FORM".
To register and pay online - Please Select Your Class below:
Payment and Missed Class Policy:
Training requires consistency in order to achieve the most benefit. However, we understand that students may occasionally need to miss a class. Use the following guidelines to ensure that you get the most out of your classes at The Academy of Creative Arts.
Chhandika Class Policies
- Payments, Discounts and Refunds, Credits
- We accept checks and all major credit cards. A $30 bounced check fee will be charged for all returned checks.
- Any payment made after the designated deadline of the session for any class will be subject to a $25 late fee.
- Family discounts are given to those who have a family member attending the same, or any dance class at the studio. The teacher will announce this at the beginning of the session and through emails.
- Refunds and Credits: Classes will not be pro-rated for your absences planned or unplanned.
- Credits and refunds may be issued under limited circumstances. Requests for such must be made in writing and approval is at the sole discretion of Chhandika Branch Directors.
- Special circumstances: If a student has to miss part of session he/she has paid for due to an injury or family emergency, 50% of that tuition can be applied as a credit to the following session but cannot be carried forth to any other sessions.
- Registration, Withdrawals or Class Changes
- Initial registration should occur prior to the start of class. You will be required to fill out pertinent documentation and make payment before attending any classes. This includes a liability waiver, photo and video policies.
- Classes can be made up at Chhandika’s other locations. Please contact your Branch Director to confirm the best time and day of class to attend.
- If for any reason you decide you would like to withdraw from a group class, please discuss this with your branch director. A refund may or may not be deemed.
- Should there be any cancellation or changes to your regularly scheduled class time due to snow, we will do everything possible to notify you via phone and email contact information that you have provided to us. Additionally, all class changes and cancellations will be posted on our website at www.chhandika.org. For short notice cancellations, such as an ill instructor, Chhandika will do its best to email or call the students to inform them of the cancelation.
By enrolling you understand accept these policies. If you have any questions - please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish you a wonderful learning experience - these policies are required so that we can be respectful of the instructors time and commitment. :-)