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Discussions on the transformational nature of the Guru-Shishya parampara tradition. The following note was prepared by Dr. Harbans Nakra as a personal perspective on the transformation of Bharata Natya during its renaissance period and the role of Mamata Niyogi-Nakra’s work at Kala Bharati (Montreal), in this transformation. As we prepared for our discussions today, I...Read More


Preface I have written this brief summary of the Bharata Natya tradition for the benefit of students of the art, originally of the Kala Bharati dance school of Montreal.  My interest in this art and some understanding of its tradition and character, is the result of having closely observed its teaching by my wife, Mamata...Read More


by Harbans L. Nakra, Ph.D. No Comments


The Bharata Natya that we practice today is actually a composite art made up of two separate art forms – NRITYA and NRITTA. Nritya in its early form was known as ABHINAYA. One day, in those long ago days, Lord Brahma saw Lord Shiva perform his dance. He was so pleased that he immediately asked...Read More


The book describes a scientific basis for defining “whole-child education” and the role that dance training can play in achieving its objectives. A model of the Human Brain-Behaviour System is described, which serves as a scientific basis for defining educational objectives. ...Read More


This paper was first presented at the “Dance and the Child International Conference in Kingston (Jamaica) in 2009 (daCi2009).

Curricula for formal education in schools have traditionally been designed to favour the acquisition of knowledge and the development of intellectual skills, an important part of which is the enhancement of cognition capability. The emphasis on mathematics and linguistic skills reflects this objective, while the same skills serve as the basis for testing and quantification of a student’s potential for learning, through the use of IQ tests.

Recent studies in psychology and neuroscience have brought this approach into question. The theory of multiple intelligences suggests that while logical-mathematical and linguistic capabilities are important, there are other skills that need to be considered equally and the quantification of human capabilities through IQ tests leads to false judgements. At the same time, studies in neuroscience suggest that the cognition process can be greatly enhanced by consideration of the multiple facets of the information coming in through all the senses. Of particular importance is the influence of emotional responses on cognition and intelligence.

The paper will expand on the above ideas and also show how dance can contribute to the total education of the child and therefore merits a place in formal education...Read More


This paper was first presented at the “Dance and the Child International Conference in The Hague (Holland) in 2006 (daCi2006).

Ordinarily the process of observation involves mainly the sense of sight that renders the physical features of the observed scene with all its hues and colours and the shades of meanings they generate. This is especially so for objects and phenomena observed at a distance. But there are occasions when other senses enter our field of attention and give additional dimensions to what we observe. Two senses that are known to play prominent roles in colouring our observations are those of smell and hearing. There is however another sense, less known perhaps, but nevertheless much felt, that enters into our perception. This is the sense of body experience, which until recently was only vaguely described by such imprecise expressions as gut feeling. In this paper the author describes how studies of the functioning of the brain explain how emotional experiences give rise to these feelings and affect our observations, giving rise to the notion of experiential observation...Read More

Place of Dance in Basic Education

by Harbans L. Nakra, Ph.D. No Comments


This paper was first presented at the “Dance and the Child International Conference in Regina (Canada) in 2000 (daCi2000).

The author gives a historical review of efforts made over the ages to get dance activity recognized as having educational values...Read More