Our mission is to endeavor to empower and strengthen our students into confident, efficient and productive individuals as ambassadors of our culture through academic and dance and music tuition.
Natraja is an institute of Kathak, Indian Folk, Bollywood dance and Indian Classical Percussion under the directorship of Olica Maniram and Amit Raj Gopal.
Natraja is based in Rylands – Cape Town, Natraja is the only Academy of its kind that promotes the classical dance style of Kathak and the study of Classical Music through established syllabus.
Kathak, one of the significant classical dance forms of Northern India is the core specialty that overarches our Academy. Kathak tuition is supported by vibrant Indian Folk Dance and energetic, evergreen and ever-popular Bollywood favourites performed to predominantly original choreography.
About the genres of dance that are taught at Natraja
Kathak is the major classical dance form of northern India. The word Kathak means “to tell a story”. It is derived from the dance-dramas of ancient India. The main aspects of Kathak are footwork and spins that are executed at lightening-speed and end in statuesque poses. The movements are skillfully controlled and performed straight-legged, by dancers wearing ankle bells (ghungroos).
Indian Folk dance is characterized by their free and spontaneous movements. These dances have their origins in the different states of India and are historically performed by villagers for their own pleasure at special occasions such as social festivals and gatherings.
In a Bollywood class, students are taught movements to popular songs from Bollywood movies, using movements and gestures to depict the meaning of the lyrics, thus providing the opportunity for an understanding of the language.
The Academy’s Music Department focuses on vocal assistance and the study of North Indian Percussion, with a strong focus on Tabla, delving into a basic understanding of Taal (Rhythm) while assisting students to become comfortable with playing the ancient accompaniment instrument.
Students of this community-based Academy range from the age of 5 till those who still feel rhythm deep into their adult years.