Skype in aid of Bharatanatyam pedagogy

Topics: Dance, Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam Pages: 17 (2489 words) Published: February 26, 2014

Skype in aid of Constructive Developmental Pedagogy of Indian Classical Dance: Bharatanatyam.

The study endeavours to explore the resourcefulness and accessibility

of Bharatanatyam, one of the ancient Indian classical dance forms, over Internet by using

Skype as the medium of communication to impart training. The dance form is to be learnt, experienced and shared over Internet, through e-learning. In today’s world, Internet has

become an integral part of our day-to-day life, we aim to harness the power of internet to

bridge the spatial gap between the teacher and the student. In this case the necessity for

on-line training arose, from the non-availability of teachers of the particular dance style in

close proximity to the students who were interested to pursue the training. The aim is to

observe how the learners understand and receive a particular cultural practice and explore

challenges related with distant learning. The group in consideration are girls in the age group

between 8-15 years, from Indian Community in a North American City. This exploration will

encourage future studies and practice based research in learning, experiencing and sharing

different kinds of performing arts all over the world without the limitation of accessibility

due to space and distance.

Statement of purpose:

Bharatanatyam is the oldest among the contemporary classical dance forms of India. The technique of the body movements can be traced back to the 5th Century

A.D. from the sculptural evidences in the Temples. However, it is in the nature of Indian

Classical dance forms, that they are ancient and classical at one level, and yet constantly grow and modify and assimilate new elements every day1. Bharatanatyam is one of the

many dance forms which is widely practiced and taught globally, through traditional oral

teaching methods. Restructuring the traditional classroom/ studio environment and also

in-corporating Skype, as the medium of distant communication, is the highlight of this

Research Proposal. The goal is to overcome the challenges and hurdles that the Teacher and

the Learners face in a non- standard classroom setting. The approach in this new medium of

distant learning, is to create a psycho-physically suited, developmental environment more

conducive for the learners. The final objective is to give a complete and fulfilling experience

of the Dance style along with an understanding about Indian Philosophy and History which

underscores the union of the microcosm with the macrocosm. Finally, last but not the least,

Skype acts as the tool for easy access to get training and master the skills of a traditional,

historical and essentially a temple art form practiced over the Centuries.

Research Questions:

How effective is Skype or any Video messaging system in the teaching

and learning of Bharatanatyam, a historical dance form?

Is Constructive Pedagogy helpful / effective in developing/nurturing a

better understanding and analysis of the art form?

How can we expand the dimension of learning experience in an online

classroom environment, where students are generally alone or in small groups?

What is the experience and expectations of the Learners?

What is the experience/observations of the Parent families?

What is the experience, observation and responsibility of the Teacher?

What is the thought of the audience/organizer about online training, and

their view regarding the performance of the particular group of students trained online?

Bharatanatyam and the changing face of the art form:

Dance in India is one of the basic human responses that cannot be really dated.

It is a natural human ability that has evolved and adopted unique forms in different parts of

the country with multi-layered influences from society, geographic position , eco-political...

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Routledge, 2010, 73-77.
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Culture, Identities, ed. by Buckland, Theresa, USA, University of Wisconsin
Press, 2006,123-152.
Middleton, Wesleyan University Press, 2007.
10. Samson, Leela. Rhythm in Joy. New Delhi, Lustre Print Media Pvt. Ltd., 1987.
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