The East-West School of Dance was founded in 1981 at Ananda Ashram with the blessings of Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati. Under the direction of Pandit Satya Narayana Charka, the School has been a pioneer in North America especially in presenting classical Indian Kathak Dance and innovative dance dramas. Its objective is to help achieve a deeper understanding and harmony between East and West for cultural and spiritual enrichment, integrating traditional and modern values through education in the universal language of dance. Its syllabus is based on the standards followed by Indian dance institutions such as Kathak Kendra in New Delhi and Natya Institute of Kathak & Choreography in Bangalore, also incorporating the traditional Gurukula educational system.
At present, Pandit S.N. Charka offers regular Kathak classes at seven teaching centers in the New York/New Jersey area.
The East-West School of Dance also sponsors guest artists and master teachers for performances and workshops in both Eastern and Western traditions.
At Ananda Ashram, classical Indian dance performances and dance dramas are scheduled during the summer months and on special occasions throughout the year.
Kathak Dance Classes at Ananda Ashram
Tuesdays with Pandit S.N. Charka:
5:00PM Children's Class - monthly fee $50
6:00PM Advanced - monthly fee $60
7:00PM Intermediate - monthly fee $60
First class free for Ashram guests.
Instruction in the dynamic classical Kathak dance style of North India includes postures, hand gestures and expression (abhinaya), along with skillful rhythmic variations and intricate footwork. Preparation for participation in dance dramas may be included.
Children's Classes: The combination of physical and mental discipline inherent in the study of the art of dance, along with the joy experienced in creative expression, has been found to be very therapeutic and especially beneficial for young students in their overall development.
Intermediate & Advanced Classes: Continue more advanced training with deeper analysis, emphasizing the pure and expressional aspects of Kathak Tradition. This training also leads to choreography of ancient and modern thematic dance sequences.