Ananda Shankar Jayant launches
Natyarambha - a digital app
Jan 22, 2017 Hyderabad

January 19, 2017

Dancer Ananda Shankar Jayant conceives and creates Natyarambha - a  digital app - intersecting  tradition and technology 

Bharatanatyam rides tech wave with online personal dance coaching app.

Like any performing art, mastery of the classical dance style of Bharatanatyam, one of the most popular dance forms across the globe, demands dedication and   motivation besides regular, immersive and extensive practice.

In today’s fast paced lifestyles, formal training in Bharatanātyam, by the teacher, is only feasible for a few hours a week, making practice at home by the student an imperative essential. Many students find this difficult, for want of guidance at home.

To make dance practice at home easy and interesting, for students, as well as provide dance teachers and gurus with a useful training tool, acclaimed dancer, scholar, speaker, writer and guru, Ananda Shankar Jayant has conceptualised ‘Natyarambha’, a unique web-based application for practicing Bharatanatyam basics.

“The ‘first-of-its-kind’Bharatanatyam practice app, scheduled to be launched in Hyderabad on January 22, 2017 is inspired by the Prime Minister’s ‘Digital India’ initiative and aims to motivate students to practice and rehearse their basic training beyond the classroom,” says Dr. Ananda, one of India’s eminent dancers, who has been teaching and choreographing dance for over four decades.

“Natyarambha, bridges the gap between class room training and home practice,” says Ananda, “and comes with detailed guidance, mnemonics, music, and visuals, replicating the format of a Bharatanatyam class, and a range of practice options that will make practice at home easy, exciting, and stimulating for students who will now have a ready digital access similar to the dance class, that is also interactive and engaging.”

Available across various devices, and based on an annual subscription model -  Natyarambha is an online practice tool, that necessitates learning from a Guru, and yet provides linkages between the guru and home practice - a digital access to quality practice and training modules for home practice - that will transform the teaching, learning and practice of Bharatanatyam.

Adds Ananda, “Natyarambha is conceived as an easy practice tool for beginners, even as it is a powerful practice aid for professionals, that bootstraps you with a wide range of practice routines that can also be personalized and shared - a boon to teachers, stimulating for students, even as it will be a ready reference tool for parents.”

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

Senior software professional and Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher, Sneha Magapu, heading Project Natyarambha, has enabled a traditional dance form ride the technology wave, by synergising her unique skill set of a software professional and a Bharatanatyam dancer.

Natyarambha has caught the attention of the dance world, and has received praise from senior and iconic dancers and gurus. Praising the innovation, dancer, guru and Navaratna of India, Dr. Sonal Mansingh says, “This app has come as a blessing at the right moment for all ages cutting across languages, gender and nationality and promises to become teacher, friend and inspirer to dancers and rasikas.” 

“I recommend every Bharatanatyam artiste 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,” added, renowned dancer Chitra Visweswaran, even as  dancer, scholar and cultural activist, Anita Ratnam showered praise,‘Natyarambha creates the platform to synergise practice, knowledge, rehearsal and a sense of community on a global cyber dance class.”

Ananda says, “We hope with Natyarambha you will be able to practice Bharatanatyam, like never before!”

Natyarambha – Launch 22nd January 2017, Hyderabad by renowned dancer Dr. Sonal Mansingh, Chief Secretary Telangana, Shri SP Singh, and Executive Chairman, Cyient, Sri BVR Mohan Reddy.

Natyarambha concept note

Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayant, inhabits the worlds of administration, academics, and arts; straddling them with equal ease. Celebrated as one of India’s eminent and renowned classical dancer, choreographer and dance scholar, Ananda’s  artistic body of work spans mythologies and abstraction, historical chronicles and women studies, poetry, abstraction, philosophy and humour.

As the Artistic Director of Shankarananda Kalakshetra, Ananda leads an acclaimed ensemble, besides training and presenting the next generation of Bharatanatyam artists. For her contribution to the field of classical dance, Ananda was conferred the "Padma Shri" (India’s 4th highest civilian award) in 2007 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar (India’s apex cultural body) for Bharatanatyam in 2009.

Ananda is a sought after motivational speaker and actively engages with young India on a wide range of topics, at  leading corporate entities, leadership programs, hospitals, universities and schools. A TED speaker in 2009, her TED talk after her tryst with Cancer has been ranked as one of 12 Incredible TED talks on the subject. In January 2015, the Huffington Post ranked Ananda’s TED talk, as one of five greatest TED talks by Indians. Another rare honour was a recent invitation to speak at the Harvard Business School for the Inspire Series of the India Conference at Harvard.   

Ananda is an officer of the Indian Railway Traffic Service and is currently posted, in Hyderabad, India.