The beauty and wisdom of Indian dance and philosophy traditions made accessible and relevant to our times.
Classes designed for adult learners
Classes designed for adult learners
There are four different classes which draw on the above approach:
1. Rasa classical Indian dance classes: Indian dance theatre style of Kuchipudi in an open and accessible format. It is a fun way of getting to know Indian myths and philosophy.
2. Dance contemplation classes: focus on a deity or a theme and facilitate a reflective experience through dance and guided improvisation. This is for those looking for dance as contemplation or meditation.
3. Karana dance meditation classes: offer a ‘dhyana’ or simple, quiet, meditation approach to dance through the 108 Karanas or dance movements of Siva, the deity of dance.
4. Philosophy classes: talks designed to introduce Indian philosophical teachings with a focus on practice and non-dogmatic approaches.
Masterclasses or Intensives are also offered which are a ‘deep dive’ into various aspects of Indian dance and philosophy.
No previous experience of dance required.
More information about the approach is available at Padma’s blogs.
We live in times when all wisdom traditions have been reinterpreted to suit consumer paradigms. Moving Archetypes is an offering of a rich tradition in dance, contemplation and philosophy that seeks to reclaim spaces that can offer an alternative to our current ways of being. Through the dance, contemplation and philosophy classes, the invitation is to come in touch with expansive freedom from limiting paradigms that do not offer a full and congruent experience of our reality. Moving Archetypes offers spaces of richness, beauty and dynamism drawn from an ancient tradition that had deep insight into the interconnectedness of all life. The aim of all classes is to allow the experience of living in harmony within and without.
In dance contemplation classes, we learn to use our body and mind to engage with the chosen archetype/deity or theme through dance set to music from all over the world, guided improvisation and reflection. The dance style combines specific techniques from Indian and western dance and includes:
Rasa classes teach classical Indian dance through choreography that is designed for adult learners. It focuses on dances of different deities such as Siva, Lakshmi and others. The choreography is carefully broken down into simple sequences for learning. Usually each term focuses on one dance related to a specific deity.
The philosophy classes take a non-dogmatic approach to Indian approaches to interpreting life, our relationship to reality and why different practices are suggested. It focuses on how Indian philosophical traditions are paradigm shifting spaces. The classes are influenced by Padma’s own teaching lineages in philosophy which sought to overcome the drive towards ‘translating’ the traditions for modern consumer needs and go to the heart of the teachings.
Moving Archetypes uses dance because dance is the language of our bodies. Recent neuroscience research (please see Judith Hanna’s Dancing to learn: the brain’s cognition, emotion, and movement) affirms that dance functions in our brains as a language. But dance is more than simple verbal language because it can express complex feelings and emotions in symbolic and metaphorical ways. When compared to spoken language, dance is poetry.
Indian dance theatre traditions are sophisticated and powerful symbolic languages when accessed through contemplative practices. They offer a transformative practice that embraces feelings as its domain. Many contemplative practices struggle with the domain of emotions, often suggesting withdrawal or denial of them. The Rasa practice in dance is a way of ‘meditating’ through feeling.
No. Padma will introduce you to bridging movement sections and also guide and facilitate more open, creative explorations of the archetype through movement. The classes are designed to encourage a non-judgemental approach to our self, our movement and to others.
No. Dance contemplation is not designed for a cathartic process where through self-expression you ‘purge’ your emotions. The aim of contemplation in the dance contemplation tradition is to expand from a sense of individuality towards a more connected experience of life and feelings. The archetypes provide powerful and empowering frameworks that can facilitate this process.
You can enjoy Padma Menon's regular radio program on Indian philosophy- Conscious Conversations.
Please visit Living Arts Canberra to listen to all previous episodes.
Hosted by Padma Menon, the program invites people to take time out of the busyness of their lives to reflect on their own philosophical approach to living.
Padma draws on her Indian philosophical lineage to draw attention to the paradigms which influence how we live, and provides a space to consider whether these serve us well in these times.
Padma also shares beautiful contemplative music from around the world as part of the conversation.