Bharatanatyam guru Ananda Shankar Jayant launches dance practice app ‘Natyarambha’

  • Subscription-based digital app brings dance to the doorstep

Hyderabad, Jan 23:Inspired by the Prime Minister’s ‘Digital India’ initiative, acclaimed dancer, scholar, speaker, writer and guru Ananda Shankar Jayant  has come up with a  unique digital application ‘Natyarambha’, which aims to enable Bharatanatyam enthusiasts continue their practice beyond the classroom,  besides transforming the way dance is currently taught.

Available across various devices, the subscription-based, first-of-a-kind dance practice app ‘Natyarambha’ was launched here on Sunday evening at a glittering function, which saw a classical piano recital by Chennai-based musician Anil Srinivasan.

“Practice has been a constant companion for all artists for the young student in training and mastery of the style. Bharatanatyam as well as other performing art forms demand dedication and motivation besides regular and immersive practice.  Yet in today’s fast paced lifestyles formal training is only feasible for a few hours per week, making home practice an imperative essential but many students find it difficult to do at home leading to unlearning and loss of interest,” said Dr. Ananda.

Aimed at inspiring a young dance student to practice at home, to hone talent into training and perfect the basic grammar of the dance style, Dr. Ananda, with the help of her student,  Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher Sneha Magapu who is also a senior software professional, developed ‘Natyarambha’. 

“Natyarambha is conceived as an easy practice tool for beginners even as it has powerful practice aids for professionals with a wide range of practice routines that can also be personalised and shared. It is a boon for young teachers like me, stimulating for students even as it will be a ready reference for a lot of parents out there,” said Sneha.

The app, available on www.natyarambha.com, contains guided lessons, mnemonics, music, and visuals, replicating the format of a Bharatanatyam class, and a range of practice options to enable practice at home easy.

“The online app comes with pre recorded high quality lessons capturing the nuances of the dance form that we hope will transform the teaching, learning and practicing of dance,” said Sneha who spoke about how relevant teaching and learning materials for dance was not easily available on the Internet.

BVR Reddy, Ex-President, Nasscom who was a guest at the launch congratulated Ananda Shankar Jayant for the initiative. “What Ananda and Sneha have done is amazing to intersect technology with tradition and bring dance to our doorstep and make it possible to learn anywhere and everywhere.”

Pointing to the rapid changes in technology he said in the future it would be possible to utilise virtual and augmented reality techniques to bring the teacher to the doorstep, physically.

Also present at the launch was renowned dancer Sonal Mansingh, who congratulated Dr. Ananda for the new digital learning tool and urged her to extend the app to other dance forms too.

“What Ananda has done is extraordinary and something that has not been thought of so far. I have seen that technology can have a snowballing effect in our lives and society and unless you embrace it you are left behind. I would urge her to extend it to odissi, kathak, mohiniyattam and others,” Sonal Mansingh said.

“Natyarambha,” said Dr. Ananda “bridges the gap between class room training and home practice.”

Natyarambha, has been produced and created by Shankarananda Kalakshetra, the Hyderabad-based not-for- profit institution set up by Dr. Ananda.

“I recommend every Bharatanatyam artist to subscribe to this new innovative and meticulously crafted web system by a stalwart,” said renowned dance guru V P Dhananjayan.

“Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant has shown farsightedness in developing this app’, adds, renowned dancer Chitra Visweswaran.

Dancer, scholar and cultural activist, Anita Ratnam said “Natyarambha creates the platform to synergise practice, knowledge, rehearsal and a sense of community on a global cyber dance class.”

ENDS

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