Saturday 27 August 2011

Roses & Thorns - Regarding some fake teachers - A concerned parent

My daughter took Bharatanatyam lessons from this teacher. She claimed to have learned dance from someone in Kerala. The classes went ok. But when my daughter started performing we got comments like the style, poses and the mudras were all wrong. This went on for some time, because we couldn't or didn’t know what to do. We are not from the dance background.

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  1. This can happen in any field of studies, wether academics, music, sports, martial arts etc..
    Parents, if they are to enroll their kids in any such programs should do their research properly. There are hundreds of charlatan teaching bad Indian classical dance all over the world, and that includes India itself.
    Even after your expose such teachers, people will still flock to them. When you are sincere and genuine, somehow the right teachers come to you. Happy that you have now found a good teacher.

  2. Yes Mr Jai Govinda is right, i will only blame the parents for not doing their home work properly. I can quote n number of teachers in USA particularly in Kuchipudi style who had either basic training or no training but claims to be student of Dr. Vempati and starts kuchipudi classes becos his name sells. Added to this some teachers from India sells their videos (for dollars) to them.

    Our Academy in chennai had students from USA with the same problem what the lady had in US.

    One thing every parent in this type of situation should know if the teacher had real training from the respective gurus. In our Institute every qualified student will get a certificate. like wise every guru or institution from any other dance style will give a certificate of their training.

    To tackle this kind of probles, we at Kuchipudi Art Academy, Chennai are planning to issue an authentic certificate to all our qualified students and their institutions and request them to project it in their schools so that the students/parents will know the authenticity of the teacher/institution.

    Venkat Vempati
    Kuchipudi Art Academy

  3. My daughter is also a victim.She learned barathnatyam for six years paid up to 16000$ and in the end the teacher said she is not fit for arrangetram,where as her juniors are getting it done.For arrangetram she collects 25000$.Now my daughter hates Indian classic dance.Because of lot of cheating.We even went for 2nd opinion with famous Indian dancer.(about my daughter's performance).

  4. As a malayalee dancer, and being raised a Christian, I can understand how parents can be mislead by 'fake teachers.' I can imagine that my parents would not even know where to begin 'researching' since they know very little about the art. However, one skill that most everyone has is the ability to recognize bad dancing. If you are a parent and are looking for a teacher for your son or daughter, one of the best things to do (aside from the obvious - researching online and by word of mouth) is to attend at least 2 arangetrams from a particular teacher. You will see for yourself, very quickly, how a student dances after 10 or so years in a particular school.

    Good luck!

  5. This is not the parents fault. Obviously 'Concerned Parent' had no idea what constitutes a good dance teacher, or good dancing. They went by whichever teacher was most popular, and as we can see now, popularity doesn't always determine authenticity. And that's not their fault. The fault lies with that 'fake teacher.'

    Jai Govinda is incorrect when he compares Bharatanatyam to any other field. Academic schools are certified and accredited to teach certain materials. Sports have associations and rankings. Bharatanatyam doesn't have that organization.

    One solution would be to have an independent, non profit organization to regularly review and rank schools and gurus of a particular area.

    Another solution would be for these 'concerned parents' to give their own opinions on gurus and schools on websites like Narthaki or I'm quite disappointed that this 'concerned parent' refused to name names. How will potential students know to avoid that guru? They are really doing a disservice to Bharatanatyam by not publicly pointing out these 'fake teachers.'

  6. Hello! What are some questions to ask a classical Indian teacher? Will they be teaching theory? Will they have books?....

  7. I agree, not only parents, even the knowledgeable dancer are also misled/cheated by visiting indian artists/so called artists. Especially should not trust who says they have learnt all types of classical dances. They take the resources from youtube videos, and conducts workshops in abroad. I personally experienced that & learnt a lesson. I also see some of the kuchipudi dance so called teachers, neither they teach kuchipudi or bharatanatyam to kids. The parents who doesn't know the difference enroll their kids to classes. They teach bharatanatyam,kuchipud, bollywood, fusion & so on, make the kids perform in different associations. I feel its all for the sake of money..... There is no respect for the Art.