Shakti Dance Academy Overview

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Brief outline on the planning for the Shakti Dance Academy in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

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Shakti Dance Academy Overview

  1. 1. Phase I Plan for the Shakti Academy of Dance, Circus Arts and Energy Healing A Three Ring Shrine Udaipur, to the Body Electric Rajasthan, IndiaBACKGROUNDLike most modernizing cities in Asia, Udaipur displays widening economic disparities between its havesand have-nots, its educated and underschooled, its mentally agile and physically gifted. Even artisticallyradiant children on the back side of these divides enjoy few options and face increasingly harsh futures.The Shakti Academy of Dance, Circus Arts and Energy Healing is intended to even the existentialodds for these kids and incubate new forms of genius that classroom desks cant nurture. In sum, wehope to create a replicable new school model to enhance the educational/artistic/social opportunities oflocal youth aspiring to virtuosity in music, performance arts and energetic modes of healing.THREE PHASE DEVELOPMENT SCHEDULEDance Academy 2012~2015; Energy Healing Center 2013~2015; Circus Arts School 2014~2016PHASE I - Shakti Dance Academy, an innovative global/local magnet school to foster virtuosity inscores of local youth each year, some paying tuition, some receiving need-based scholarships. For moreadvanced students the school will also offer instructor-led courses and internet-linked collaborativeclasses with dance groups around the world as well as other types of training in yoga, choreography,bodywork and fluidic martial arts.INITIAL FACILITIES- An 1800 sq ft tent (with removable sides for public recitals), full dance floor, 30 ft of movable fulllength mirrors, large screen video lesson projector, kitchenette/library and composting toilet. ENVISIONED SCHOOL TENT MINUS DANCE MIRRORS OR ADJOINING LAWN FOR AUDIENCES.WORKSHOP & COURSE FACULTYThe school will recruit eclectic dance masters from eastern and western traditions, musicians, yogaadepts, bodyworkers and experts in dance-related martial arts. It will also use the internet and videoprojection to link students to distinguished teachers and collaborative groups around the world. -1-
  2. 2. RICHNESS ON THE GROUNDUnlike most modernizing cities, Udaipur still embraces a vibrant traditional talent pool and a rich diversityof subcultures ranging from tribal villages and gypsy camp fires to Sufi mosques and goddess shrines.We enjoy warm friendships with virtuosos in these traditions and hope to gratefully exploit their talents.ARTISTIC GUIDES AND GURUS Bhanu Bharati - Performance Advisor Since graduating from Indias National School of Drama, Bhanu has studied traditional theater in Japan, worked extensively with folk drama masters from Rajasthans Bheel tribe and directed more than 70 plays. An Udaipur native, he has served as Head of the Rajasthan University Drama Dept, Director of Delhis Shri Ram Centre for Art & Culture, and chairman of Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi. Bhanu brings us a genius for stagecraft and extensive experience in provoking traditional performers to new levels of innovation and creativity. Piki Chapell - Artistic Director Pikis Theater 3.0 creative career stretches from San Franciscos rich art/music scenes and Burning Man culture to the "cirque nouveau" renaissance of Montreal, Quebec. In Montreal Piki designed haunting musical interludes for Cirque du Soleil shows, performed in many Cirque galas & premiers, and served for years as musical director of Circo de Bakuza. Hes sung, DJed, and jammed with music greats around the world, and is currently turning his imaginative focus to India and Japan. Asa Kubiak - Choreography Advisor Asa is a Junior Olympic Gold Medalist, a five-year Cirque du Soleil veteran performer, and an innovative aerialist and choreographer. After years of training in ballet, swimming, gymnastics, diving, and music, she toured for four years with Cirque du Soleils "Quidam" show as a featured hand-to-hand artist. She has worked globally with her original aerial tissu acts and is currently performing as an aerialist with her second Cirque du Soleil production, "Corteo." She will be helping develop the schools dance programs and assist recruitment internationally. Duncan Wong - Energy Arts Advisor Now a skilled Kung Fu adept and Astanga Vinyasa yoga master, Duncan has spent the last 30 years journeying through China, India, Korea and Japan to train with hidden or famed teachers in ancient martial arts and healing body-mind disciplines. Abstracting the most graceful/powerful techniques from all these traditions, hes created a flowing holistic exercise ritual he calls Yogic Arts. Duncan will help us with workshops and guidance to integrate our performance, dance and healing worlds. Bhargav Mistry - Music/Improvisation Advisor Partly inspired by his successful career in industrial design, Bhargav turned to classic Indian music as a basis for new design creativity. He began studying sarod with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and soon won a Sur-Nandan Bharati Gold Medal in Calcutta. Having mastered classical techniques, he took his formidable skills on the road to jam with local virtuosos in Turkey, Korea, Italy, the US and rural Rajasthan; and has released 7 CDs of his solo and collaborative performances. Bhargav will help guide our intercultural partnerships, fusion efforts and improvisation classes. -2-
  3. 3. INITIAL SPECIALTIESGypsy/ flamenco traditions, Sufi/yogic dance, Tap/Kathak fusion, hip hop/Pung Cholam,martial/gymnastic choreography and improvisation coaching for classically trained artists.LOCAL ALLIESBharat Verma, an enterprising young Udaipurite from a long line of traditional musicians, has developed aneclectical and talented group of dancers from among Udaipurs street kids and economically disadvantaged youth.Their annual recitals have become major cultural events and packed the Town Hall Theater in recent years.Sayari Sapera, founder of Roots of Gypsy, is an accomplished dancer, singer and choreographer working toexpose and creatively develop the best of Rajasthans native gypsy traditions. She has performed all over theworld and now runs Udaipur-based gypsy dance classes and a superb performance company.Rujuta Vaidya has choreographed for many Bollywood films, major events including the Slumdog MillionaireOscar performance, and Disney movies for which she auditioned nearly one thousand young Rajasthani dancers.TARGET STUDENTSUdaipur harbors many fine schools for the well-to-do and intellectually inclined. However, there arefew if any equivalent resources for the poor who are attracted to sensuous physical arts or even kidswho are better off but dream of creative lives outside the call centers, corporate cubicles and factories.- Intro courses: auditioned K-to-12 kids from Udaipur area;- Adept courses: gifted youth and dancers from all across Rajasthan- Tourist oriented classes: regular dance workshops for foreign and domestic visitorsEDUCATIONAL GOALS• Open the first non-classical creative dance school in Rajasthan with special focus on at-risk youth.• Train inventive young artists, instructors, director/choreographers and dance therapists in a casteless, classless atmosphere.• Produce enchanting performers who can also improvise, teach and create fresh choreography.• Use diverse dance traditions to introduce students to other cultures history, values and artistry.• Teach aspiring dance professionals cooperative self-management and promotion skills• Instill awareness and appreciation of ones body, immediate surroundings and natural environment with meditative practices, site care and maintenance "rituals".• Enhance recognition of human/Nature interdependence as key to creativity, health and survivalSOCIAL GOALS• Offer creative artistic career opportunities to economically or educationally at-risk youth• Support students/grads with booking/performance aid, media portfolios & web-based promotion.• Develop a self-sustaining dance education model for replication in other heritage cities.ARTISTIC GOALS• Develop world-class performers, acts and productions for local and international audiences.• Foster intercultural collaboration to generate new dance forms and genres of creative performance• Explore the borders between diverse dance traditions, Eastern energy arts (yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gung, etc.), and fluidic martial disciplines (Capoeira, Kalarippayattu...). -3-
  4. 4. DISTANCE LEARNING IN DANCEInternational collaborations, choreography and coaching with internet e-dance powerDistance education has taken a quantum leap with the fusion of the internet and video projection power. Nowdancers too can learn and co-create choreography with their peers in any country by linking to live or archivedfeeds with their collaborators. With rather simple equipment, the Shakti Academy tent can become a globalizedtraining space and offer students access to many of the most exciting dance teachers and traditions in the world.For dramatic examples of the fresh art this tech is birthing, check out the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.LOCALEOn the banks of lovely Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Rajasthan, the heart of 5-star heritage cultureVoted Worlds Best City by international travelers is 2009, Udaipur hosts over 10 million tourists each year,including one million foreign visitors. Despite this torrent, the city has few creative performance venues and theaverage tourist stay is only 1.6 days. The nine 5-star hotels in the neighborhood are constantly searching for localattractions to prolong their guests stays and this offers a huge and promising market for talented young performers.ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUESThe Shakti Academy is currently being planned and developed as a project of Udaipurs Big Medicine CharitableTrust, a government recognized public benefit NGO. Once launched and underway, the academy will become anindependent Section 25 non-profit corporation, a classification India grants to social entrepreneurial initiatives.FUNDINGUdaipurs Big Medicine Charitable Trust (BMCT) and Big Medicine, its ancestral non-profit institute in Maine,USA, are seeking approximately US$120,000 in start-up funds from donors and foundations in India and abroad.Tax-exempt contributions can be made to their US fiscal sponsor, Center for Ethics in Action.BMCT is also sponsoring a December 2011 Indian fundraising tour by the award-winning Vanaver Caravan thatwill perform at various hotels and festivals in Rajasthan.The Shakti Dance Academy is projected to be financially self-sustaining after three years of operations based onrevenue from tuition, workshops and performance activity.CONTACTRita Dixit-Kubiak, BMCT Founder Trustee US Tel: 207-423-4141 Email: bmct@greeningindia.net -4-

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