Experiencing Bharatanatyam – History, Movement and Story telling with Deepa Mahadevan


Beginner +
Number of places available:
Session length (in minutes):
Led by:
Deepa Mahadevan
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Local Times:

London: 3pm-5pm
New York: 10am-12noon
San Francisco: 7am-9am
Chennai: 7.30pm-9.30pm

Full Description:
This is an eight-week session of two hours each. Every session will start with a 15- minute warm up inspired from a yoga flow.

This will be followed by forty-five minutes of training in Bharatanatyam movement technique- the student will be introduced to the system of ‘Adavus’ or the basic movement vocabulary of Bharatanatyam. After the first three weeks, the student will be taught a movement flow using the Bharatanatyam technique assimilated in the past couple of weeks. From week 3 the student will continue learning new movement vocabulary. But this section will be geared towards building up a dance sequence that the student will perform in the final session.

The following half hour will be spent on learning hand gestures or mudras and introducing the student to facial expressions. Facial expressions or ‘Abhinaya’ is an important aspect of Bharatatnatyam and most Indian dance forms. Again from the third week this section will be directed towards learning a dance sequence that will involve Bharatnatyam movement technique from the above 45 minutes and understanding facial expression with hand gestures from this 30 minute session. Using both Bharatanatyam movement vocabulary and the aspect of using facial expression and hand gestures we are trying to learn a small movement sequence of about three minutes, which will be presented on the last day.

The last 30 minutes of the class will be spent on understanding the critical history of Bharatanatyam. In the last 30 minutes the student will be introduced to the place of religion, caste, gender and sexuality in Bharatanatyam and ways in which it shapes Bharatanatyam aesthetic. For the final part of class, which involves understanding critical Bharatanatyam history, the participant will need to read an article or two and submit a response before every class in order to keep the discussion moving forward.

Homework – Every class will involve a three part homework:
a. Reading the material required for the final 30 minute critical history portion of the class and submitting a brief blog-type response.
b. Watching a two videos up to a maximum of five minutes each- links will be provided along with the syllabus
c. From week 3 we need the participant to start working on the sequence that we will be putting together during class and be ready for the next class. In Week 3 and 4 the student will choose a working partner. From Week 5 participant will share their practice video of the sequence with their partner who will give them constructive feedback as needed. I will be looking at the comments and feedback and will be discussing them, as appropriate, during class to help master the dance sequence.

The dance sequence will be presented on the final day of class.

While the live workshops will take place in Zoom, all participants will receive an invitation to join our Basecamp online forum for additional support and group communication.

Take-Away Benefits:
a. Participants learn Bharatanatyam movement vocabulary from a professional Indian performer/teacher/choreographer.
b. Participants learn the nuanced art of facial and hand gesturing-Abhinaya.
c.While Bharatanatyam has been largely assimilated in dancing bodies as a traditional art form this course will make the participants critically aware of the inequities in its history, practice and transmission and ethically practice the form with that nuanced understanding of aesthetics.

Type of Format: Course

Language: English

Duration of Each Session: 120 minutes

Technical Platform for the Course: Zoom Pro

Concessionary Ticket – is only for job seekers, students and seniors with a low household income.

Bursary Ticket – is only for people living in countries classed by the World Bank as ‘low income’ and ‘lower-middle income’. Please click here for a list of countries qualifying for Bursary Tickets. We won’t question if you self-declare as low income…

Early Bird Ticket – ends 15th Dec 2023 at 12 noon

Dance On

Dance On is a great way for adults over 50 to get moving, keep fit and feel healthy. Whatever your level of ability, take part in a way that suits you – sitting, standing or boogying around the room.

Have you ever sat at home watching Strictly Come Dancing and wished that you could join in? If so, these could be the perfect sessions for you! The focus of Dance On is on fun and socialising – don’t worry about not knowing the steps, remembering routines, getting put on the spot, or how flexible you need to be.

These dance groups are about playing, moving in new ways and most of all enjoying yourself. You’ll try new things, develop your confidence in a supportive, friendly environment, and explore the world of dance with the help of various dancers and artists.

No booking required, please just turn up. £3 to attend (card payments preferred).

Not Bank Holidays.

Contact amy@wearedarts.org.uk or 01302 493991 if you have any questions at all.

Silver Shakers (Older People’s Dance Group)

Silver Shakers is an inclusive group of men and women (aged 50+) who enjoy coming together to dance, socialize, and have fun. Each week there is a dance session for an hour and then time for a cup of tea and a catch up. The dance sessions are designed for people of all physical abilities and are fun, creative and good for your health. All exercises can be done seated or standing and can be taken at your own pace. Silver Shakers is a very relaxed and friendly group that are keen to welcome new comers.
For more details, and term dates, visit: https://www.bullingdoncommunityassociation.co.uk/pages/silver-shakers-all-welcome

Dance for Parkinson’s

Weekly Dance for Parkinson’s classes for people living with Parkinson’s and their families / carers. The sessions combine dance with live music and vocal work and are built around stories of great ballets, musicals, novels or plays. The sessions are run in partnership with MuMo Creative and English National Ballet. The sessions offer a vital opportunity for people with Parkinson’s to keep active, be creative and socially connect with others.
For more details, and term dates, visit: https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20034/dance/505/dance_for_parkinsons#:~:text=Due%20to%20the%20on%2Dgoing,in%20Oxford%20in%20Summer%202023.

Dancing for Joy at Ashford Place with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, 3 August – 21 September

Get dancing this summer

We have teamed up with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance for another term to bring you a dynamic 8-week project held at Ashford Place. Join us for a series of inspiring workshops for people with early-stage dementia, mild cognitive impairment and their companions.

Working with one of the senior company dancers from Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, you will discover how to create your own contemporary dance choreography and become creative with ideas your body will respond to.

This programme is free of charge and no prior knowledge or participation in dance is necessary; this project is for all abilities and can be done sitting down or standing up!

You will surprise yourself, have fun and be part of a wonderful dance project.

Moving Together

Moving Together is for those with long-term health conditions to move together with others whilst reaping the benefits it has to offer in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Standing and sitting options. Suitable for MS, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Cancer and Rheumatoid conditions.
– Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/GNkw8KE7y6
1. Opportunity to socialise, meet new people, feel less isolated, and feel belonged.
2. Improve balance, mobility, strength, and co-ordination.
3. Keeps both your body and mind active and alert.
4. Prevents the risk of falling.
5. Increases the skill and precision of everyday movement tasks.
6. Greater confidence and self-worth.
7. Increase enthusiasm to try out new activities and places.
8. Increases fluidity of movement.
9. Regular exercise in a fun and enjoyable way.
10. Increase motivation and energy levels.

FRONTLINEdance is not able to provide medical or personal care. Carers are welcome to join in or stay nearby.


Unleash the healing power of movement, dance, and nature with “Playful Regeneration with Sophie Spiral” an extraordinary online course tailored for arts and health practitioners and participants. Led by Sophie ‘Spiral’ Schultze-Allen, a distinguished dance researcher and certified InterPlay leader with a focus on embodied climate justice, this course will help you tap into the profound connections between the arts, health, and the environment.

Starting on April 25th at 7.30pm UK, London Time, embark on a transformative journey as Sophie expertly guides you through creative and playful exercises that bring you closer to nature. By blending movement, dance, and eco-somatic practices, this course offers an invaluable opportunity for arts and health enthusiasts in London to enhance their well-being, deepen their connection to the natural world, and explore innovative ways to foster holistic health.

Curious to know more? Visit https://www.interculturalroots.org/product/playful-regeneration-with-sophie-spiral to learn more about this remarkable experience and register today!

Don’t miss this chance to connect with a supportive community, ignite your creativity, and harness the transformative power of dance, movement, and nature in your arts and health practice.

Love to Dance – Letchworth

Love to Dance is a dance class for over 50s. We aim to increase physical activity, reduce social isolation and improve the health and wellbeing of over 50’s in our local community. You will learn a variety of dance styles across the year.
Please use this link to find out more and book on to the session:

Love to Dance – Hendon

Love to Dance is a dance class for over 50s. We aim to increase physical activity, reduce social isolation and improve the health and wellbeing of over 50’s in our local community. You will learn a variety of dance styles across the year.
Please use this link to find out more and book on to the session:

Love to Dance – Abbots Langley

Love to Dance is a dance class for over 50s. We aim to increase physical activity, reduce social isolation and improve the health and wellbeing of over 50’s in our local community. You will learn a variety of dance styles across the year.
Please use this link to find out more and book on to the session: