Exploring Indian Dance For Actors

During the first hour of this immersive 8-Week course, participants will explore the elements, technique, and expressive vocabulary of Odissi, one of India’s neo-classical dances. The form is known for its percussive footwork paired with curving movements and sculpturesque poses. Students will explore Odissi technique, form and vocabulary. Through excerpts from pure dance choreographies (Pallavi) and variations on walking and traveling, they will refine movement, transitions and develop a stronger awareness of framing and placement within the Odissi aesthetic. Anindita Nanda, one of the most accomplished Odissi dancers in the world will also touch upon history and cultural context. Students will dance barefoot.

Following the classical dance we will kick it up a notch and indulge in learning the various aspects of Bollywood dance. Bollywood Dance is a mix of dance styles performed in Bollywood films, including traditional Indian styles of Bharatanatyam, Kathak, folk styles, bhangra, garba and modern dances. A vibrant and entertaining dance that is suitable for beginners. It gives a whole body workout while dancing to the rhythm of joy with the powerful nature of Bollywood music. We will be working on learning the different routines set to variety of bollywood music and rhythms and will also explore the different regional flavors of India. Students dance barefoot or with dance socks.

At the end of this 8 Weeks Course, there will be an intimate presentation, where students will showcase what they have learned to an audience filled with family and friends. All levels welcome.

Sponsored by World Heritage Cultural Center (WHCC)

world heritage cultural center

What is Odissi?

Odissi is an Indian Classical dance form originating from the state of Odisha, in India and dates back to the 2nd century in its origin and antiquity. It is an ancient, breathtakingly beautiful form of sacred dance, which was originally performed in temples as a worship ritual. Highly stylized in nature, it utilizes powerful, energetic footwork with graceful postures and movements to create an illusion of sculpture coming to life. Handed down from teacher to disciple for thousands of years, Odissi emphasizes, and in fact, centers around spirituality and devotion. The practice of this dance form rejuvenates the body, refreshes the mind and creates a positive energy.

Who is this dance class for?

Our dance lessons are for actors and non-actors coming from all walks of life, those looking to gain insight into the vocabulary of the ancient arts which shaped all modern creative dances. Exploring the bollywood dances as well.

Dance in the ancient times was a part of theater and an insightful knowledge of this, will enhance a complete understanding of the arts. It also helps on building confidence, strengthening bodies, mind, improved body control, build an understanding of rhythm, choreography and improving the sense of timing.  All the while, working on different styles of Indian dance including classical, folk and bollywood..

Students who can benefit from this course:

  • Students from any level of theater and dance, interdisciplinary
  • Aspiring actors and dancers
  • Actors looking to refresh their skills
  • Students wanting to have total body conditioning
  • Adults from ages 18 – 70
  • Performing artists
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Expected Outcome:

  1. Understanding of the ancient arts its history and evolution and current form. As well understanding of the modern styles of dance from India.
  2. Improve posture, sense of movements, rhythm and space. There are very few dance styles that involve so many parts of the body at once. Indian classical and folk dances do that, so you can be prepared to grasp any style, once you have dedicated yourself to some form of Indian classical dance.
  3. There are a lot of dances and exercises out there that help you lose weight instantly. But when you practice Indian classical dance forms, you not only build muscle strength and endurance, but also learn to breathe better. It’s all about breath – are you out of breath as soon as you take a few steps? That should change once you join dance class.
  4. In your daily life, you feel anger, sadness, happiness, love, excitement and so on; Indian classical dances give you a cathartic release of these emotions. While performing several emotional roles, you will start understanding the connection between emotions – mind and body. This will help you in observing your emotions better, and then of course, you will stop reacting and start acting productively.
  5. Spiritual growth and awareness. The amazing part about Indian classical dances is that they give you an understanding of the body to release you from the body.
  6. Bhangra and Garba are very popular folk styles and you will be able to show your new moves at any dance party.
  7. And finally all these dances are about communicating experiences or ‘rasa’ and the first person you would communicate that with, is yourself. So once you are thorough with the basics, you are already beyond the body!

Sponsored by World Heritage Cultural Center (WHCC)

world heritage cultural center

Upcoming Classes:

The Exploring Indian Dance for Actors is a 8 Week course. See below for more details on price for the entire course, dates, and times of each session. All classes are held in Manhattan.

Exploring Indian Dance For Actors 8 Weeks

Register today for our Fall 2019 classes:

October 5th, October 12th, October 19th, October 26th, November 9th, November 16th, December 7th, December 14th


12:00pm – 1:00pm


Pearl Studio
519 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10018





About the instructor

Anindita Anu Nanda is an exponent of Odissi and intensively trained under the lineage of the legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, in India. She has a Masters in Indian Classical Dance and Vocal Music and is the recipient of several titles in India like NrityaShree, Nritya Siromani, high honors for dancers in India. For over 15 years she has been working to promote the dance through concerts, workshops, and lecture-demonstrations.

A much sought-after touring artist, Anindita is regularly presented by Embassies, Museums, Universities, Libraries, Schools and Cultural Institutions across the United States, Europe, and India. She is the founder and director of SoorTaal, which was created for the promotion and preservation of Odissi.

Anindita is also on the board of the World Heritage Cultural Center and continues to contribute through her work in preserving and promoting World cultures. She continues her work in establishing Odissi in the US and abroad. This is her third time coming back to teach and perform.

Anindita Nanda Bollywood Odissi Indian Dance instructor