Fridays 16:00 - 17:00 (in-person)
Saturdays 10:15 - 11:15 (in-person)
Thursdays 16:45 - 17:45 (online)
Fridays 17:00 - 18:15 (in-person)
Saturdays 11:15 - 12:15 (in-person)
Saturdays 12:15 - 13:15 (in-person)
Saturdays 9:30 - 10:30 (online)
Theiyā Arts School is open to children from age 4 years, up to adults. We focus on teaching the tradition of Bharatanatyam, a dance form originated in Tamil Nadu, South India. However, through our partnerships with Agnyã Movement and Tharanga Dance, we are also able to offer Kathak, Bollywood and Kandyan dance under the umbrella of Theiyā Arts.
Our Bharatanatyam classes are taught by Karen Watts and Gaby Albornoz, who have been learning and in time teaching this dance form for more than 15 years. They are mentored by Kalakshetra alumni Viraja Mandhre, Bharatanatyam dancer and educator.
The educational programme run by Theiyā Arts aim to instill in students a strong foundation in the dance form, from the core sets of steps to the traditional repertoire pieces. We balance Nrtta (pure dance pieces) with Abhinaya (expressive dance pieces), as well as working creatively with our students on more contemporary Bharatanatyam choreographies, through our Youth Dance Group.
Our purpose is to nurture the individual student within the group setting. We acknowledge that everyone learns differently and at different speeds, that all bodies are different, and that therefore different students will need different kinds of support from us as they learn and develop. We want to create a space for our students to feel safe, to feel heard, and to feel supported in their learning and creative journey.
Theiya Arts is committed to making south Asian classical dance forms accessible to all. Through our community dance programmes, we wish to introduce to participants the essence of these incredible dance forms, as well as insight into their origins and cultural context.
We aim to make our community dance programmes inclusive, and in particular we work with groups that traditionally may have felt, or indeed been, excluded from mainstream dance provision. We believe that everyone has a right to meaningful participation in the arts, irrespective of age, physical ability or current situation, and that our job as arts providers is to nurture artistic aspiration and remove barriers to participation in the areas where we work, normalising participation in the arts.
Gaby and Karen are first and foremost lifelong students of dance. For them, an important part of their life is their continued professional development in their respective dance forms. Gaby continues to study and train in Kuchipudi with Jaikishore Mosalikanti (Shivamohanam, Chennai), and both Karen and Gaby study Bharatanatyam with Viraja Mandhre, Kalakshetra alumni. In this way, they continue to develop their repertoire, as well as the necessary skills to create their own choreographies.