“Indian classical art is … a gateway to deep knowledge. Stepping through that gateway requires commitment, discipline, and time.”
– Pandit Chitresh Das
Yato hasta stato drishti
Yato drishti stato manaha
Yato manaha stato bhava
Yato bhava stato rasa
Where the hand is, the eyes follow
Where the eyes go, the mind follows
Where the mind is, there is the feeling
Where the feeling is, there is the mood
– Natya Shashtra
Grounded in the pedagogy of renowned kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das, Leela’s approach to kathak education creates a rich and challenging learning environment for students of all ages and backgrounds. Leela’s Children & Youth Division provides students ages 5-17 with access to educational programs that foster creativity, build core competence in kathak, and provide integral cultural education. Leela’s Adult Division offers open classes and workshops for dance enthusiasts and inquisitives of all levels as well as training programs for aspiring dancers with varied levels of prior dance training.
Leela’s curriculum is informed by Das’s essential Nine Principles and provides students with rigorous training in kathak technique and movement from both the Lucknow and Jaipur gharanas along with foundational training in abhinaya, tal and Hindustani classical music. At the intermediate and advanced levels, the curriculum delves into core kathak repertoire covering both pure nritta pieces as well as natya or expressive pieces. Training on the dance floor is complemented with intensive education in Indian history, philosophy, and mythology. As students enter into advanced levels they have the opportunity to enter into pre-professional and professional training programs that prepare students to be performers and educators.
Students at Leela learn and progress through a combination of weekly classes, immersive training, supplementary workshops, and home study and practice. Leela’s world-class faculty boasts some of today’s leading Indian classical dance and music artists as well as senior, torch-bearing disciples of Pt. Chitresh Das. With its comprehensive approach and curriculum, Leela’s educational program reflects its commitment to helping passionate and talented individuals achieve their full potential as artists, leaders, cultural ambassadors, and global citizens.