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Faculty’s New Name Launched

Faculty’s New Name Launched

16 December 2012

South Asian Dance becomes Classical Indian Dance

The South Asian Dance Faculty is very pleased to announce that it has officially changed its name to the Classical Indian Dance Faculty. 

The change of name to Classical Indian Dance reflects and acknowledges the preeminence of the generic name by which Bharatanatyam and Kathak – the two dance forms in which the ISTD offers examinations through the Faculty – are known widely in the UK, across the world and in India, the country of their origin. Our teachers and students, who come from several countries and continents, spontaneously and consistently refer to the dance forms as Indian Dance or Classical Indian Dance. 

"Today anyone can and does call themselves a classical Indian dancer no matter where he or she comes from"

Professor Christopher Bannerman, ISTD Chairman, said, “It is a great pleasure to learn of the new name of the Classical Indian Dance Faculty of the ISTD. This work has enhanced and broadened the ISTD portfolio and we look forward to a bright future for the faculty and its students.”

The announcement of the name change was greeted with applause at Misrana 2012, the faculty’s increasingly popular Classical Indian Dance showcase, which was held on Sunday 4th November at the Lowry, Salford Quays, co-hosted by Milapfest.  

As far as Classical Indian Dance is concerned, for around two decades the term 'South Asian' has been largely an official term and it is not much used where the dancing foot actually meets the dance floor in a class or rehearsal studio. In the 1990s, when the South Asian Faculty was initially created, it was a useful term to speak about a group of dance forms and be inclusive of its practitioners who came from India, as well as other countries across South Asia. 

“Today, these classical dance forms have become so established and so well-known in the UK and around the world as forms that originated in India, that we, as a faculty, felt it was a good time to recognise the same in our faculty’s name,” said Sujata Banerjee, Faculty Chair. “Today anyone can and does call themselves a classical Indian dancer no matter where he or she comes from!”

The new name of the faculty will also serve to include the future development of syllabi for examinations in other classical Indian dance forms, such as Odissi and Kuchipudi, which are rapidly gaining ground in Britain. 

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