Bharata Natyam, one of the leading classical dance forms of India, has existed for centuries and has been established as a key component of India's cultural identity as a nation. Its artists and their gurus have contributed consistently to its development and evolution, making it a living tradition suitable for contemporary stages. Hema Rajagopalan is considered among these leaders of the art form, and students at the NDT School enjoy unprecedented access to a master teacher.
The NDT School offers ongoing, comprehensive training for beginner through professional levels in Bharata Natyam. In addition to classes, students, ages four and above, take part in annual recitals and performances. Other offerings include an annual summer intensive, invitations to performances, and exposure to world-class artists via Natya presentations. Natya offers our students unparalleled access to some of the best artists and musicians in the world through collaborations with other exceptional arts organizations.
The Natyaratna Diploma Course takes 10-12 years to complete and aims to create fully developed dancers who can perform with artistic virtuosity worthy of acclaim. The duration of the program depends on the age the student starts, student ability and level of commitment. This curriculum is accomplished through weekly, one-hour general classes for the first three years. In keeping with training traditions, starting in year four, the amount of study intensifies. In addition to weekly general classes, students in the more advanced years of training are expected to take the two-week summer intensive course every year. The coursework includes both theory and practical aspects, in accordance with The Natyashastra.
NDT teaches with a conviction that every student can achieve the level of perfection that makes the dancer a consummate artiste. Repertoire items are taught along with theory and philosophy to enable every student to become a more holistic dancer, aware of the surrounding life. The value this training system, which has been developed and refined over thirty seven years, is evident in the quality of the world class Natya Dance Company, which features numerous professional dancers from the school, in performances worldwide.
Natya School Philosophies:
Teach a new generation the true spirit and authenticity of this art form, and to develop students into accomplished and creative Bharata Natyam dancers who can appear on professional stages worldwide.
Conviction that every student can become a dancer of substance, and that each student has unique and individual abilities with tremendous potential..
Enrich the lives of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Classical dance is an excellent catalyst in building stronger communities, deepening individual spirituality, fostering social change, and providing a greater understanding of world cultures and religions.
To provide ongoing support after the arangetram and to nurture involvement in performances by creating performance opportunities in the U.S. and India.
Above all, instilling self-awareness that the journey is more important than the destination, leading to the development of the individual as a beautiful person.