North Indian Classical Dance Courses – Khatak

Courses for Kids and Teens

Performing arts in India look back upon a common yet richly diverse tradition. Diverse classical dance/dance theatre styles that we know today as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi or Kathak, emerged as distinct styles based on regional aesthetic preferences and the context in which dance was practised. While they can be traced back to ancient dance treatises, the earliest being Natyasastra (ca. 3 BC – 5 AD), every period in history, every decade, every practitioner and every context has brought changes, thus contributing to a practise that perpetually evolved and continues to evolve even today. In the past these various forms were brought to perfection, in particular, in the temples and/or courts of the respective regions. Today they have reached global relevance, with ever more practitioners of various backgrounds learning and perfecting the art.

What makes these dance traditions relevant even today is essentially a well-defined structure, that has withstood the pressures of time, with a continued practise over time moulding and re-defining it. That is the transformative power of dance itself. This is particularly evident in the dance style Bharatanatyam. I recognise in the aesthetics of the classical forms, insights into movement and expression that can be defined in most contemporary scientific terms. In the well-defined structures of these styles there is a profound knowledge of the human body and its ability to move and express. The rich diversity lies in what aspects of movement each style has emphasised in practise. And that there is a body-mind connection and even more, is an integral aspect, in fact the side effect of the very practise of such dance.

Yet, there is often a whiff of exoticism engulfing what is called Indian dance in Europe. My work over four decades has thus taken a triadic approach – innovative stage productions, teaching and research, to enable a critical understanding of this rich and, yes, loaded dance tradition. While content and context may appear to be rooted in specific cultural or religious practises, I recognise how the essence of its form can contribute to an understanding of human movement and expression at its core. That is what makes it universal, revealing itself to be beyond all categorisations when one gets on to the floor and practises it. Classical forms are not trendy forms. They evolve in the body over time or a life time and enable deep and rich experiences.

Rajyashree Ramesh
Berlin, September 2018

About Khatak
Kathak is a highly dynamic, energetic, graceful, abstract and narrative dance that unites music, movement and theater in a unique way. Kathak, the classical dance of North India, has enriched and transformed itself like no other dance of this country through different cultural influences. Kathaks origin goes back to 400 BCE, when it was held as a ceremony to worship the gods in the Hindu temples. At that time Kathak was an offering to the gods, but also a storytelling medium for portraying the epic tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The influence of muslim rulers in India transformed North Indian arts. Kathak evolved from a purely narrative temple dance into a highly rhythmic, dynamic and expressive dance that uses the whole body as a narrative medium. Kathak is a highly stylized dance which follows strict rules, but demands a lot of spontaneity and improvisational skills from the dancer at the same time.

Learn Khatak at the GMA
Ghazal Ramzani teaches the Jaipur style of the Kathak as taught by Pt. Rajendra Gangani. The Jaipur style of Kathak gives great importance to physicality and body control, endurance and dynamics, complex footwork and rhythmic-musical knowledge as well as a nuanced Abhinaya (expression). Ghazal Ramzani’s pedagogical research is currently dedicated to the anatomy of Kathak. She endeavors to analyze the anatomy of Kathak and to develop innovative methods of dance mediation. Her dance lessons are a combination of classical technic practice as well as improvisation exercises based on Kathak’s dance vocabulary and principles. Those improvisation exercises allow a creative approach to movement, space, music and body. The classes are musically accompanied by Ghazal on tabla and harmonium.

Course 1: Khatak for kids – 6-11 years (45min)

Courses for Kids

Children have a natural urge to move, which is undermined and severely impaired by the lifestyle in the cities. The lack of physical activity disturbs the natural development process of children and can lead to severe physical and mental deficits. In this course, the basics of the classical Kathaks are taught playfully. The children will move, play, train their bodies, improve their posture and coordination as well as develop social skills.

Course 2: Khatak for adolescents – 12-18 years (60min)

Courses for adolescents

Teenagers of this age group have a stronger concentration and stamina and are able to learn more complex sequences and choreographies. In this course the participants will learn the basics of Kathak as well as the first choreographies of the classical repertoire of Jaipur Gharana.
Teenagers with and without dance experience are welcome to take part in this course. The classes are a combination of classical exercises, improvisation and choreography.

Course 3: Khatak für adults – beginners/beginners with dance experience (90min)

Courses for adults – Beginner

Kathak can be learned at any age and in any physical condition. Dance and movement is just as necessary for adults as it is for children. Dancing is more than pirouetting and splits. Through dance, we get to know our physical and emotional body. We learn to perceive and understand ourselves and the world around us differently. Dance improves physical, mental and emotional balance. Women and men of all ages and physical states should feel encouraged to attend this course. The physical requirements of everyone are considered and taken into account.

Course 4: Khatak for adults – intermediate (90min)

Courses for adults – Intermediate

Suitable for students with prior knowledge in Kathak. All those, who have already learned the basics of classical Kathak and have at least two years of dance experience in this field, are welcome to join this course. The technical, musical and theoretical basics of Kathak will be refreshed and deepened through different exercises. The participants will learn more complex sequences ( Bandishes ) and choreographies (Sargam, Tarana, Vandana) and will widen their knowledge in philosophy, mythology and music.

Course 5: Khatak for adults – Open Level (90min)

Courses for adults – open level

Kathak Open Level is for those who want to take part in one of the regular Kathak courses and want to deepen their dance practice with additional practice. But it is also suitable for those who want to get a first impression.

Courses 2020

Kathak Courses 2020

CourseStartEndDay/TimeLesson UnitLevelParticipantsPriceRegistration*
Course 1 FebJuneby arrangement45minKathak for kids -
6-11 y.
from 7 onwards225 €27.01.2020
Course 2FebJuneby arrangement60minKathak for adolescents - 12-18 y.from 7 onwards250 €27.01.2020
Course 3FebJuneSat. 12:15pm-1:45pm and/or
Mon. 6:30pm-8pm
90minKathak for adults - Beginnerfrom 7 onwards350 €27.01.2020
Course 4FebJuneby arrangement90minKathak for adults - intermediatefrom 7 onwards350 €27.01.2020
Course 5FebJuneSat. 11am-12pm and/or
Mon. 8pm-9pm
60minKathak Open Levelfrom 7 onwards250 €27.01.2020

* After the registration deadline, we may give away some rest places.

Just ask us!

At the Global Music School we want to expand our dance department. For this we are in contact with various qualified teachers. However, the expansion of our dance department also depends on the demand. Therefore, if you are looking for instruction in other dance styles, let us know. We will gather the interested parties and bring you into contact with our teachers.