Shakti School of Dance ~ India
A school for the study of Indian Art & Culture:
Indian Classical and Folkloric Dance, Contemporary Fusion Dances and Yoga
Shakti School of Dance is a center for the study and practice of traditional Indian dances, yoga and their intrinsic philosophies.
Housed in the Vaishnav temple of Lord Rang Nath Venu Gopal in the holy town of Pushkar, Rajasthan, India, our school offers a contemplative devotional atmosphere. It is a place where artistic and spiritual inquiry is nurtured and reinforced by structured study.
Students from all over the world come to immerse in Rajasthani folk arts and culture through classes, lecture demonstrations and performances. Our diverse curriculum also offers students a chance to drop in to Colleena’s unique Indian Fusion dance classes, or learn from local Kalbeliya dance legends and experience Rajasthani dance.
Our school’s main focus is to promote and preserve Odissi classical Indian dance of the Kelucharan Mohapatra lineage. Imparting rich authenticity through the traditional classroom setup, Odissi students delve into the rigorous training system of Indian classical dance technique, supplemented with deeper studies in Indian aesthetic theory, Vinyasa Krama Yoga and related cultural and philosophical studies. There is an application process for students interested in full time study.
Seasonally, we conduct intensive dance training programs (January through May), and each spring host an annual festival of classical Indian dance and music – The Pushkar Temple Dance Festival
Odissi Intensive Training
We conduct Intensive Odissi dance training programs January through May.
Through an application process students are carefully selected to assure the program is the right fit. Our school stresses the rigor and precision of classical Indian dance, the practice and philosophy of yoga, and the rich cultural context which makes Odissi dance unique.
January through May we offer drop-in classes in Odissi classical dance and Yoga, Rajasthani folk dance forms such as Kalbeliya, as well as Indian Fusion Belly Dance and other special dance workshops.
Drop-In Classes Offered:
*Classes build over the season, beginning students encouraged to join at the beginning of the season (January).
Kalbeliya dance is a playful, rhythmic, whirling dance of the Kalbeliya community. Connect with local culture and experience the joy of swaying to the rhythms of Rajasthan. Raki Kalbeliya has been teaching at our school for over a decade. Her warm personality brings fun and passion to her interpretations of the dance movements. This class is perfect for beginners and also offers a rich experience for seasoned dancers.
YOGA & ODISSI CLASSICAL DANCE TECHNIQUE
Experience the dance for the first time or come to reignite your practice with us. We begin each day with a 1 hour breath based Vinyasa Krama Yoga Practice, which includes flowing gentle vinyasa, pranayama and a short meditation. The next hour includes Odissi Exercises and Stepping techniques which will be reviewed at 3 speeds.
NORTH INDIAN ~ RAJASTHANI DANCE
Learn Colleena’s unique vision of Rajasthani dance infused with classical sensibilities and unique interpretations of dance from the courts of Northern India. This class will begin with basic Kathak classical dance techniques (arm patterns, lines and spinning techniques) and introduce new stylizations each class which will range from Kalbeliya and Ghoomar dance of Rajasthan, to Kathak classical dance which was heavily influenced by Persian and Central Asian dances through out its history.
INDIAN FUSION BELLY DANCE
Learn Colleena’s trademark style Indian Fusion Belly Dance broken down into techniques and drilled, then woven together into several phrases. Inspired by dance poses found in Indian sculpture, painting and classical dance, and integrating details of Indian classical dance, with earthy, strong, fluid belly dance Colleena will share movements that offer a sweet combination of aesthetics to create that elegant Indian mood.
GUEST WORKSHOP TEACHERS
In the spirit of cultural exchange and holistic learning, we are delighted each year to welcome some very interesting workshops with master teachers in various fields of work. Our Odissi intensive programs always attract an interesting range of professionals who find unique ways in which this incredible art of Odissi relates to their work. In past years we have had masters in the fields of: Butoh dance, Dance Therapeutics, Ayurveda, Flamenco dance, Chinese Medicine, Yoga Chikitsa, Fusion Belly Dance and more.
Message from the founder
By honoring the lineages of our dance, as well as the cultural and spiritual traditions deeply embedded within each movement, Shakti School of Dance has become a place known for its disciplined, genuine and reflective atmosphere.
Through our full time dance training at Shakti School of Dance I hope to offer a holistic experience for students to live the path of the artist in every aspect of their life. Students cultivate deep body awareness by reaching for perfection in technique and learning to push their perceived limits. We also place equal importance on “theory studies,” such as associated arts and philosophies, music theory and cultural context. The very source of inner strength is found through meditative concentration and extraordinary effort.
As our school continues to evolve and grow, we find beautiful transformations happening all around us. Kalbeliya dance teachers are developing their skills through interacting with students and we continue to find ways to support their community. Dancers from around the world continue to come, sharing their art forms, learning side by side, and inspiring one another through cultural exchange.
Our vision is to create cultural alliances by bridging ancient and modern, East and West, foreign and local, traditional and innovative… so that culture is celebrated, respected, lived and perpetuated in an uplifting way – as our Gurus have guided us. Odissi as an art form communicates very particular ideas and possibilities. Ideas which appear at first to be culturally specific are in fact human values, emotions and experiences. By sharing the rich cultural heritage preserved inside Odissi’s theory and praxis, we also create more educated audience members (rasikas), thus widening the field and life span of Odissi.
Odissi Diploma Program
The Odissi Diploma Program is designed as a 5 year program which will culminate with students earning a Diploma from Shakti School of Dance. Through the defined yearly course work, students will travel a path towards the diploma with a peer group, finding companionship and support from a group of fellow students.