Natyam Academy is now offering certification courses in Bharatanatyam in affiliation with Alagappa Performing Arts Academy (APAA) based out of Escondido, California, USA. APAA offers an online degree program in Bharathanatyam through Alagappa University. This well structured learning program has been developed by APAA in collaboration with the university and leading artists. The certifications currently offered are:
1. Certificate course (1 to 3 year duration): This program gives you an understanding of basic concepts like Nritta, Nritya, Natya, history, Single and double hand gestures. You learn the basic steps (Adavus) followed by Allarippu, Kautukam and Shabdam. Note that the student must be minimum 10yrs of age to enroll for the program.
2. Associate program (1 year duration and after Certificate): Introduction to expression is at this stage. Students also learn Todaya Mangalam and Jatiswaram.
3. Diploma course (1 year duration and after Associate Degree): Students delve deeper into the techniques of abhinaya exploring concepts like the sattvikka abhinaya, bhavas, Ashtanayikas and Sanchari’s. Dance recitals like the Padam and Varnam is learnt.
4. B.A Degree program (1 year duration and after Diploma): Students must be atleast 16 years of age . You are introduced to the concept of Nattuvangam. Vocal music or learning another classical dance form will be an allied subject. Students also choreograph dances like Tillana as a part of their project.
The examinations are both practical and theory. The students are required to record the dance recitals in a CD and send it to APAA for grading. The theory includes both multiple choice and essay type questions. Students can give the theory test online using a login provided by APAA.
Bharatanatyam students spend years learning the art and perfecting the practice to perform the ‘Arangetram’ that can take from 5 to 7 years. If a student were to pursue academic studies during this time, they would be able to complete post-graduate collegiate education. However in the pursuit of learning Bharathanatyam, dancers are not awarded degrees or certifications for their accomplishments. This course ensures that you are given due recognition for your accomplishments pursuing the art form.
Visit the APAA site for more details on the certification programs.