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Classical Indian Dance

Following a research project and proposal from Akademi, South Asian Dance in the UK, a new ISTD Faculty was set up in 1999 to examine in Bharatanatyam and Kathak, the two classical South Asian dance genres most frequently taught in the UK. Examining started in 2001 in various regions of the UK, with expansion into Europe, Canada, and the US, along with enquiries being received from other parts of the world, including Australasia, India, and Pakistan.

Bharatanatyam is the name given in the early twentieth century to the dances known as Dasi-attam and Sadir-attam, which evolved over centuries in the temples and royal courts of Southern India. It highlights the beauty of strong lines leading out from the dancer's body and is embellished with intricately expressive hand gestures and elaborate storytelling through exquisite facial expressions.

Kathak originated as a storytelling art form in northern India. It developed in Hindu temples and later in Mughal courts. It is characterised by fluid body movements, complex patterns of footwork, fast turns and sudden stillness.

A precise interaction with classical Indian music from South and North India respectively characterises both these dance genres.

Download history of the Classical Indian Dance Faculty. If you would like to find out more about ISTD history you can order your copy of 100 Years of Dance from our online shop.

Recent Faculty Notices  

NAVADAL 2019 - APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED
The ISTD is partnering with Akademi, One Dance UK, and Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Yuva Gati to present NAVADAL at U.Dance 2019. This is an amazing opportunity for young dancers to be recognised at an early stage in their dance career. Learn more

MISRANA 2019
Misrana is a special performance platform occurring only once every 2 years and offers teachers the opportunity to showcase their most promising students in solos, duets and group compositions. This year Misrana will take place in late September or early October (TBC). More details coming soon.

January 2019 - Syllabus Announcement
The Classical Indian Dance Faculty is excited to announce the release of the revised Bharatanatyam and Kathak syllabi for Grades 1–6 and Vocational Grades. Find out more

ISTD Syllabus Outlines  

Download the Bharatanatyam syllabus outline from the theatre dance syllabus page.

Download the Kathak syllabus outline from the theatre dance syllabus page.

Download updated information on CD resources for Bharatanatyam.

Download updated information on CD resources for Kathak.

ISTD dance teachers lead the way  

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