Top 5 Best Academies to Learn Indian Classical Dance Forms

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Top 5 Best Academies to Learn Indian Classical Dance Forms

Posted on February 24, 2022

India is known for its rich culture and the legacy that we have built in the world. Performing arts like classical dance and music are an integral part of this rich culture and legacy of ancient times. In the 21st century, we continue to celebrate, embrace, teach and learn the vast intangible heritage of India’s diverse culture expressed in music, dance and drama.

In terms of dance forms, many of them originated in temples. Although each dance form has evolved from different regions, their roots are the same. The origin of dance in India, in fact, dates back to 200 BC. Over the years, classical dance forms in India have survived the onslaught of time and cultural change while reaching new heights. The popularity of Indian dance forms can be gauged by the fact that not only Indians but also many Western performers have over the years traveled to India for training.

In bringing Indian classical dance forms closer to the Gen-Z population, academies in India are playing a major role, leveraging technology to introduce Indian classical dance forms to a global audience.

Here we list the top 5 academies for Indian classical dance forms:

1. Kafqa Academy

Founded by former Amazon filmmaker Shariq Plasticwala in April 2021, Kafqa Academy is an online performing arts academy based in Bangalore. The Academy aims to reinvent learning in the performing arts and to serve artists by increasing their income and experiences.

In the post-Covid era, access to good quality courses has been a problem, but with Kafqa Academy, you no longer need to venture too far to find a “guru”, because the Academy will allows to learn Bharatanatyam from anywhere and anytime. The Academy aims to preserve the ancient cultural heritage of our country and to pique the curiosity of the active youth of our country. Kafqa Academy offers online classes in 8 mixed art forms of classical and modern dance and vocal art like Bharatanatyam, Hip-hop, Bollywood, among others, with a structured performance-oriented curriculum leveraging technology to create simple trial, payment and credit experiences, providing review and practice tools and digital performance.

The Academy allows students to learn from hand-picked ballet experts with over 15 to 20 years of experience, from almost 2 years for beginner classes up to Vidwath level (the most advanced) in the comfort of their own home.

2. Kalakshetra Foundation

Kalakshetra Foundation (Rukmini Devi College Of Fine Arts) is a very well known institute in South India. Known for its adherence to classicism, students at the Institution learn the nuances of Bharatanatyam, Carnatic music (both vocal and instrumental) and the visual arts with rigorous standards of theoretical study and practice.

It was founded by Rukmani Devi in ​​1936, initially known as the International Arts Center. she ran the facility with the active support of Dr Arundale (her husband) and their mentor, Dr Annie Besant.

The Kalakshetra Foundation as it is known today was recognized by the Government of India as an Institute of National Importance by an Act of Parliament in 1993 and is now an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture of the Indian government.

3. Akhil Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal

Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal works for the promotion and propagation of Indian classical music and dances with its Principal Sangeet Vidyalaya in Vashi, Navi Mumbai and has nearly 1200 affiliated institutions and nearly 800 examination centers across the country from l ‘Assam deep south of Kerala and more than one Lakh students take exams every year from Prarambhik (beginner level) to Sangeet Acharya (PhD level).

It also offers in-depth lessons in classical dance and instrument forms.

Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar established the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in 1901 in Lahore. Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal is a virtual continuation of this Gandharva Mahavidyalaya.

4. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

The Bangalore Center of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was established in 1965 and has an enviable reputation for serving arts, education and culture as envisioned by its founder, Kulpati Dr Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshiji. He founded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Mumbai) in 1938 with the blessing of Mahatma Gandhi. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan offers various classical dance classes such as Bharatnatyam and Kathak, instruments such as Tabla, Veena, Flute, etc., and Carnatic and Hindustani vocal music.

The cultural wing of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Kala Bharati) gives systematic training to aspiring students in visual and performing arts. He also planned to open faculties in more classical dance forms like Odissi, Kathakali.

5. Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya

Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya was created in 1973 by the famous academician dancer Padmabhushan Dr. (Smt.) Kanak Rele. The college is permanently affiliated with the University of Mumbai and to date, the institution is the only Indian classical dance institution in the University of Mumbai where degrees are awarded to students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. It offers various classical dance classes such as Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathak and others. The Institution has always been aware of its role as a constructive and responsible element of society at large.

Over the years, Nalanda has created an array of generations of exceptionally well trained, highly skilled and learned dancers who are not only proficient performers but also excellent theorists, analyzers and teachers.


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