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Aesthetics of Indian Classical Dance Workshop

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Sangeet Natak Akademi recipient, Mandakini Trivedi teaches this six-session workshop about the Aesthetics of Indian Classical Dance. A Mohini Attam performer, teacher, choreographer and writer on Dance, she is also Creative Head of Nateshvari Dance Gurukul and Chair -Person of Shaktiyogashrama Gurukulam, a space devoted to cultural & spiritual education.

Mandakini will communicate, in simple relatable terms, how classical Indian Dance and other Indian art forms, have a cultural context, which in turn is contextualized to the Indian World View/Philosophy, that has not only given rise to these forms, but is also the fundamental message of these forms. The consistency, clarity and dexterity with which this World View is inseparably woven into the classical Indian Dance forms, influencing their very nature, makes Indian Classical Dance unique in the world history of Dance.

During the Legacy Series talk moderated by Kaustavi Sarkar, Assistant Professor Department of Dance, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Mandakini Trivedi shared her thoughts, elaborating the above line of thought.

Mandakini shared a chart explaining the nine layers of understanding this Transcendental Art and how it is this layering that makes the art integrated, inclusive & Transcendental. She explained how each aspect of Classical Indian Dance, be it, it’s form or content or the experience that it generates, is triple layered. For example, the art is Aesthetic at the first layer, but as you journey deeper, you understand that is it also symbolic. When you go deeper still, you will find the yogic i.e a first-hand, personal experience of Truth and joy, where personality completely drops in the experience of ‘rasaasvaada’.

Through the six-week course, the participants will be introduced to Indian Classical Dance and how this layering of meanings, in the various dimensions of the art, makes it unique in the world of dance.

The workshop is likely to be flexible in content shared, as the subject has a will of its own and there may be diversions, omissions and additions, depending upon the flow of the talk, the participant interest and the dialogues that may emerge. Nevertheless, it will be rich with understanding. Mandakini Trivedi’s effort is to share an “understanding of Indian Art in its completeness, not just one side of it, not just performance, not just technique, but the complete integrated picture – a kind of road map highlighting the core factors that define Indian Dance.”

Course Content

Each class is 1.5 hours long beginning at 9 am -10:30 am EDT

Cost of complete course is $230. (Register by April 15th for Early Bird Price of $205.)

Sat., April 24: Session 1 – Classicism, a value system steeped in the philosophy of Yoga and the deep influences of this on the form of Classical Indian Dance.

Sun., April 25: Session 2 – The unique place of dance in general & classical Indian dance in particular in the family of arts.

Sat., May 1: Session 3 – Dance as a symbol of Existence & The Dance Of Shiva

Sat., May 8: Session 4 - The 2 facets of Indian Dance – Nritta

Sat. May 15: Session 5 – Nritya or abhinaya, a composite art, a complete dance expression

Sun. May 16: Session 6 – Dance as a devotion from the beginning of History culminating in the Bhakti movement.

Each session is likely to contain some demonstration or participative practice.

Special Early Bird Price! $205.00 if you Register on or before April 15th, 2021

Workshop Cost: 230.00 (after April 15th)


Or Mail a Check to

Leela Foundation Inc, 105, Greymist Lane, Cary NC 27518

To watch the entire Legacy Series talk featuring Mandakini Trivedi:

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