HINDU TEMPLE RHYTHMS is primarily an educational institution, focusing on the preservation and promotion of these classical dance arts. Through dance, our students are able to truly understand the history, cultures, religions, philosophies, languages, etc. of India.
Nritya Sudha’s Hindu Temple Rhythms is based in Oak Park, Michigan. Currently, group and private classes are held at the Amma Center of Michigan in Ann Arbor, The Bharatiya Temple in Troy, the Hindu Temple of Canton in Canton Township, the Shirdi Sai Temple in Rochester Hills and as Gurukulam (study in the Guru’s home) in Oak Park. Students are instilled with the deepest sense of discipline, devotion and respect for the ancient arts. While structure and technique are emphasized, a deeper understanding of the theory and development of the dance style is also a part of their study.
Dance classes are conducted for children as young as 3 years old at the beginner level. From there they learn the 108 basic adavus or steps, while simultaneously developing an affinity for hand gestures, foot positions and body structure. They also begin to explore using their hands to tell stories and attempt to discern rhythmic patterns. At the intermediate level, students learn complex movement combinations while continuing their study of body architecture. They also begin learning the intricacies of facial expression and characterization, while developing a keen understanding of the relationship between melody, rhythm and movement.
Students in HTR classes also have participated in a variety of performances, ranging from ethnic presentations for mixed audiences at the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, to cultural programs for Indo-American organizations, to HTR’s own annual recital, Tandav, an prayer-through-dance presentation devoted to Lord Shiva in honor of the Hindu celebration of Sivarathri. In addition to performances, students also take part in dance dramas, telling stories from Hindu mythology and history through dance, music and storytelling.
Advanced students are invited to fully explore rhythmic combinations, facial expression to denote deep emotions and advanced storytelling through dance. Students who have been in training for several years also have the option of specialized Arangetram classes, private training that prepares them for their solo debut performance. Over the years, Sudha Chandra Sekhar has trained and presented more than 100 students in their arangetram. Students preparing for arangetram also can qualify to win an annual scholarship, which offers preliminary private training for one year with Sudha Aunty.
Students are also invited to join HTR’s Teacher Training program, which fully equips them with the ability to work with large or small groups of students. Through the Teacher Training program, students can also train intensively in music, dance composition, sollakattu (the syllabic language of dance), and nattuvangam (finger cymbals). We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to experience HTR.
Classes and Teacher Training
From the basic building blocks of dance called adavus or the initial training in the saralis or musical notes to advanced teaching techniques and student teaching or apprenticeship opportunities, HTR offers numerous options for students.
Students in HTR begin lessons when they are as young as four years old. Once the students have been studying both the dance and theory for five to seven years, and have participated in multiple performances, they can begin to prepare for their solo debut performance, known as “Arangetram.”
Workshops and Master Classes
HTR offers community outreach programs and master classes in Bharata Natyam dance technique, abhinaya (expressions) and storytelling, musical compositions, and more. Contact us to learn more about these unique opportunities.