Sunday, 14 February 2016

Article - Education in Spiritual Values through Bharatanatyam - Part XIII (i) The maxims of teaching and training of margam - Chandra Anand

This article is based on the identification of the use of the simple device of Maxims of methodical teaching for giving training in dance. It is seen that the use of “maxims of methodical teaching”[1] help organize and grade teaching matter according to the age, background and psychological make-up of the students to be taught. The judicious and ingenious use of these maxims also helps expedite the teaching-learning process of the students in the academic curriculum.

The researcher has attempted to expose the use of these maxims in giving training or teaching Bharatanatyam by using as a model the curriculum design of Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharatanatya Kala Mandir (the Alma Mater of the researcher, therefore the progression of lessons is as learnt by the researcher then). The researcher has been fortunate to learn under all the gurus of the institution and observe their teaching methods at close quarters; particularly of Late Guru G. Karunambal, the co-founder of Sri Rajarajeshwari Kala Mandir, Mumbai, who taught at the Chembur branch. There, with her, the researcher has worked as trainee, assistant teacher and teacher for nine years. By observing and analyzing her mentor’s teaching methods as a trainee, the researcher attempts to document the commonly used teaching methods of Bharatanatyam under the varied techniques as per the list of maxims of methodical teaching.)

Until now, the students have been learning the basics of the art form of Bharatanatyam. They have learnt the adavus and basic theory like hastas, viniyogas, talam and a little historical background. Still, embarking on the learning of margam appears to be a new chapter in their life.  With awe and wonder, they must have observed the seniors perform the items of the margam. So, this makes the learning of margam look all the more challenging to them, as their seniors have set standards while performing their arangetrams. And thus they look forward to learning the margam with excitement and thrill.  

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