Nayantara regularly conducts Kathak workshops for absolute beginners as well as Kathak students of all ages and levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced. Through these workshops, Nayantara strives to share with the participants her deep love for the art form and all that she has inherited from her illustrious gurus. Some of the institutes she has worked with are:
- Future School of Performing Arts, Mumbai
- Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts, Mumbai
- Taraana Academy of Kathak, Chennai
- Tarana Indian Dance School, Toronto
- East West School of Dance, New York City
- Michael Faraday School, London
- Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication, Pune
Each module is carefully designed according to the level of the participants and the duration of the workshop. Here are some examples of workshop modules regularly organized and conducted by Nayantara (These can be customized and new workshops can be designed for specific requirements):
1. An Introduction to Kathak and Indian Classical Dance
This is typically a 5-day workshop especially designed for adults who need not have experience in any other dance form but are interested in learning Kathak and understanding more about Indian classical dance. Participants are introduced to the basics in Kathak technique and are also taught a little about other Indian classical dance styles. The highlights of these sessions include yoga for warming up and cooling down, rhythmic footwork, hand movements and pirouettes, technical compositions set to a rhythm cycle, story-telling through gestures and facial expressions, understanding and appreciating classical dance, and relevant theory that helps provide a strong foundation.
2. “Strengthening the foundation”
This is a 3-5 day workshop designed for Kathak students with more than 5 years of training in Kathak. The essence of this workshop is to introduce participants to techniques of strengthening and improving their basics, something that every dancer, no matter how advanced, needs to consistently work on and maintain in order to be strong performers and teachers. The highlights of this workshop include yoga for warming up and cooling down, various exercises to increase speed, stamina and precision in footwork, understanding clarity in line and movement based on the ‘body grid’, and voice modulation for impactful ‘padhant’. They are also taught some compositions in Teentaal that apply these very techniques.
3. Kathak for Kids
A fun workshop which includes a short demonstration by Nayantara, followed by an hour long session to introduce children age 4 and above to the wonders of Kathak and Indian classical dance. In just one exciting interactive session, the young participants are taught how to dance using simple footwork and graceful hand movements, and are also taken on a journey of story-telling using facial expressions and gestures (‘mudras’).