About one year certification course – Raadha Kalpa

The Raadha Kalpa Method


2021 Jan - Dec

  • About
  • Courses
  • Grading
  • Dates
  • Scholarships
  • Apply
  • Fees
  • Faculty

Why is this course unique?

Offered largely online, the student can manage their time and structure the self-practise without disruption their schedule. The structure and content is however so comprehensive, that the student will be able to work on every aspect of their movement practice with the detailed instructions. It is the only existing Bharatanatyam course that completely integrates a scientific strength and flexibility training regimen alongside technique and skill. The Raadha Kalpa method also lays stress on analysis, research and cultivating individual creative abilities. The course will offer new perspectives of analysing and understanding the movement vocabulary of Bharatanatyam, while developing a keener understanding of alignment and dynamics of the body. The uniqueness of the course lies in the fact that all theoretical subjects immediately find practical implication, making a clear choice of aligning all study to facilitate the growth of the student in the sphere of performance.

The Facets of Training

The RK method divides training into five primary areas

  • The Enabler: Strength and flexibility
  • The Core: Skill (physical aesthetic, Vocabulary, Musicality and Rhythm)
  • The Motivator: Imagination/ Artistry/ Creativity
  • The Communicator: Performance ability
  • The Substratum:  Theoretical knowledge 

The education of a performer must be wholesome. Often as educators in the Classical sphere, the area that is primarily addressed is ‘Skill’. The efficient execution of skill however depends on strength and flexibility, and also on one’s creative and imaginative abilities. All the areas mentioned above are therefore interdependent and none must be neglected, to create a wholesome performer.


Course Outcomes

The course will make the students understand physically and theoretically the traditional concepts in the practice of Bharatanatyam, while developing their creative abilities. Through dancing and practice, students will be able to decipher the functioning of their bodies and understand the motivation and intention of Bharatanatyam as a performing arts medium, while developing an inquisitive attitude toward the practise of Bharatanatyam. The course will help the students develop the  necessary skills to move and dance with precision and clarity of thought and purpose and understand the nuances of performance through practical experience. The course is aimed at creating performers who dance with precision and conviction of thought and purpose. Through the 11 months, the course will enable students to:

  • Begin to embody a neutral mind and body, such that they become more versatile performers.
  • Develop technical precision and physical skill, and enhance the performative abilities of every student.
  • Develop awareness of the essentials of safe physical alignment while practising Bharatanatyam, and understand the basic musculature involved, through the strength and flexibility exercises, introduced in slow progression.
  • Understand the basics of injury prevention and allow mindful practise.
  •  Develop individual body awareness, such that they can structure their strength and flexibility regimens to cater to their personal needs.
  •  Physically imbibe the ideas of direction, dynamics, posture, gesture in dance and develop the ability to make choices in their bodies. 
  • Assimilate the nuances of rhythm, according to the Carnatic music tradition, and develop abilities to decipher rhythmic complexities in basic Korwes and Jathis.
  • Have control over rhythmic precision in their bodies during Nritta and Abhinaya, by embodying the rhythmic complexities within Bharatanatyam. 
  • Understand several theoretical concepts in the Natyashastra and also extend them to application in the performance sphere. 
  • Know the practical applications of the Viniyogas, Bhedas, Dharmis, Pravrittis, Abhinaya, Bhava and Rasa.
  •  Develop an understanding of the Angas and Upangas of the Natyashastra, such that the isolation and control of body parts is articulate.
  • Learn and perform an entire Margam with physical, imaginative and emotional layering.
  •  Understand the rhythmic layering, musical nuance, context, origin and intent of each of the pieces introduced in the Margam. 
  • Develop analytical abilities, such that they can discern the motivation for creating and performing at large. 
  • Grow creatively, by fostering curiosity in the layering and nuance of Bharatanatyam. 
  • Find a renewed relationship to Bharatanatyam that allows a contemporary, personal relevance to the form through a deeper understanding of the tradition and technique.
  •  Critically view classical and contemporary arts, and be involved as performer, teacher, choreographer and  audience member.
  •  Learn and understand the history, roots and origins of Bharatanatyam socially and culturally. 
  • Apply ideas of movement, and human interaction from their daily lives into performance to become more effective communicators.

Course information

The Course will be a combination of pre-recorded streaming online lessons in combination with Live online sessions. There will also be two sessions of intensive training held in Bangalore, India that requires compulsory attendance. 

Length of course

The entire course is meant to be finished in a span of 11 months. The course is an 840 hr study course. It expects a daily study of approximately 2.5 hrs.
Those students who are unable to take the assessment exam at the end of 11 months can choose to take it on a subsequent date, no later than 6 months after the initially scheduled date, paying a penalty fee.

Teaching methods employed

  • Practical movement practice 
  • Lectures 
  • Discussions
  •  Demonstrations
  •  Group and Individual Research 
  • Introspective practice and practical application 
  • Watching videos/ performances
  • Analytical essays, critique
  •  Life experience

Online workshops

Workshops will be introduced to cover specific topics with continuity. Guest faculty maybe invited for these workshops. They will retain the time of 7- 10 pm IST

Online streaming program

The Raadha Kalpa Method online program has hundreds of videos that address almost all the subjects of the One year Certificate. They are arranged into playlists to ensure cohesive progression and understanding of content, by introducing every aspect with methodical precision and clarity. The student will have access to this program for the time that he/she is enrolled.

Regular online classes

These classes will be held anywhere from 3- 6 times in a month. The classes will either span a single weekend, in the form of a workshop, or be spread over several weeks, with classes held every Tuesday night from 7:00 – 10:00 pm IST. Schedules for the every month will be given on the 20th of the previous month

Intensives in Bangalore

The two intensives in Bangalore, will start early in the morning and conclude only after dinner each day. The intensives will cover all the subjects and address the needs of every individual dancer, correcting and helping each dancer progress. These intensives are compulsory to the learning process as they will allow the dancer to understand the methodology with clarity.

Courses and credits

29 Credits

1 credit = 15 hrs contact + 15 hrs independent study

4 credits = 3 hrs/week Approximately: 2.5 hrs/day


  • All adavus and basic variations according to the Raadha Kalpa Method 
  • Classification and logic of classification 
  • Alignment awareness in each adavu 
  • Clarity in the execution of each adavu
  • Pushpanjali in Aarabhi
  • Ganesha Kautvam
  • Sharada Stuti
  • Mishra Alaripu
  • Rasikapriya Jatiswaram
  • Todi Varnam
  • Padam
  • Javali
  • Ashtapadi
  • Vallachi Tillana
  • The traditional repertoire. Logic, and context
  • Context, meaning, and reference methodology for each choreography in the repertoire 
  • Rhythm cycles and Jathis of all content in the repertoire. 
  • Details of all composers in the repertoire
  •  A personal artistic logic of why each of the pieces can be performed
  •  Reciting Jathis (All jathis of the Varnam, Jatiswaram, Tillana etc) Musical knowledge of all the repertoire learned
  • The basic muscle groups and their function
  • The joints in the body, and the possible movements in each joint
  •  A coherent warm-up and the logic of why it works for Bharatanatyam 
  • A strength workout and a flexibility sequence that targets the major muscle groups necessary for the practise of Bharatanatyam.
  •  Any personal injuries, imbalances and how one must deal with them individually
  • Imaginary space and objects 
  • Cultivating Imagination 
  • Understanding emotional trajectories 
  • Gesture in the Natya shastra, Applicable gesture in the modern world
  • Learning to rhythm effectively
  •  Structuring movement possibilities within a given rhythmic parameter The rules of traditional choreography 
  • Use of intention and dynamics to layer choreography
  •  The effect of space on choreographic choices
  •  Creating a Tillana/ Jatiswaram

Supporting subjects (Theory and Practicals)

  • The usage, and logic of classification of bhedas 
  • Knowledge and application of these Angas, Upangas and bhedas in the current practise of Bharatanatyam
  •  All the Shlokas of the Angas, Upangas and Bhedas
  • Saptatalas 
  • Angas Gati, Yati
  •  Jathi and Korwe struture 
  • Creation of a Korwe

Reciting jathis (All jathis of the Varnam, Jatiswaram, Tillana, , A korwe in Khanda chapu, all korwes in Tishra Eka)

  • The basics of Carnatic music (Swaras, Stanas, ) 
  • Concept of Ragam, Melakarta and Janya ragas 
  • Understanding Concepts in music (Grahabheda, Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi, Structure of musical compositions ) 
  • Music composers and famous compositions
  •  Musical compositions related to dance Singing all the compositions from the repertoire
  • Basics of Production. The different roles that help in the creation of a dance/ theater performance.
  • The types of stages
  • Types of lights, and their usage
  •  Understanding a general light plot

Apprenticing as crew at a theatre or dance performance Understanding the working of a production

  • Knowing the basics of Make-up 
  • Understanding the requirements of dance make-up
  • The role of a costume in performance

Wearing dance make-up 

Creating a costume design


  • What is Ritual, classical, folk dance ?
  • Origin of the Natyashastra
  • The origin of Bharatanatyam and the formation of Banis
  • What does classical dance mean? How do we classify something as a classical form of dance?
  • Components of the Natyashastra
  • Practical application of the Natyashastra
  • Bhava, Rasa, Vritti, Pravritti, Abhinaya, Dharmi
  • Nayikas, Nayakas, Types of Drama
  • Writing your resume, reviews 
  • Recording and documenting the creative process 
  • Taxation and funding 
  • Copyright and Intellectual property 
  • Marketing, Social media and Digital imprint

Analysis/life experience

The student will choose a particular topic and research on the subject to submit an essay.

The student will work in collaborative groups and discuss the pioneers of dance.

Grading system

Every subject will deal with one of the areas of The Raadha Kalpa method. The Grading for each subject will be based on Participation, Individual work and the Final Assessments. Depending on the subject requirements, the grading will tend more towards one area or another, based on the way the content is structured. For example, some subjects will primarily involve individual work, whole others will mostly be grading on class participation. Some subjects may not have final assessments at all, while others will have a balance of all three. The course overall, is a combination of all three areas. 

Assessments will be made through practical observation, of the students in class. The performance, participation and progress.

(This includes papers, essays, movement studies and other things that need to be shown/ submitted online) Practice hours: The number of hours the student spends on practice. Attendance: The physical attendance in the live-online sessions and the Intensive weeks will be counted towards assessments. Books/ Reading/ Videos: Suggested books for reading must be procured during the course. Books and reading material will be suggested through the year. The submissions made based on this reading will be a part of the assessments. Video Submissions: There will be frequent video submissions expected, either as creative assignments or as dance evaluations. Discussion groups: Participation in the discussion groups. Life experience: There maybe assessments made on participation in artistic and performative events.

(Practical work and oral questions, in- person) There will be live assessments at the end of every Intensive. The interactive week will culminate with assessments based on previously covered material.

The following are the grades provided by the faculty based on the performance of the student.



Outstanding. Demonstrates an outstanding knowledge of concepts and techniques with a very high degree of skill and originality; an exceptional ability to communicate; evidence of outstanding research skills and an extensive knowledge base.

A / A-

Excellent. Demonstrates an excellent knowledge of concepts and techniques with a high degree of skill and elements of originality; a strong ability to communicate; excellent research and conceptual skills.


Very Good. Demonstrates a very good knowledge of concepts and techniques; some originality and independence of thought; above average research and conceptual skills.

B / B-

Good. Demonstrates a good knowledge of concepts and techniques; an ability to organize and analyse ideas and to communicate clearly and fluently; good indication of research.

C+/ C

Satisfactory. Demonstrates a satisfactory knowledge of concepts and techniques; together with some skill in using them; an adequate indication of research.


Marginal. Demonstrates a marginal grasp of the subject matter; a less than satisfactory ability to communicate and organize ideas; little indication of research.


Fail. Demonstrates an unsatisfactory grasp of the concepts and techniques; rudimentary knowledge of the subject matter; some evidence that organizational and analytic skills have been developed; but with significant weaknesses in some areas; no indication of research; does not meet the requirements to pass. Can retake the exam.


Fail. Demonstrates an inadequate understanding of the subject matter; poor organization and communication skills. A student at this level has failed to meet the minimum requirements to pass. Has to retake the full course


Incomplete. Some or all of the coursework is incomplete. The instructor does not expect the student to ever complete the coursework.


Deferred. Some of the coursework is not yet complete for valid (documented) reasons (e.g., medical) The instructor and student have determined a mutually agreeable timeline for the completion of the coursework.


Grade Not Available .Grade not available due to circumstances beyond instructor/TA control.


Compassionate Pass. The student has done at least 50% of the coursework and would pass the course by completing the remainder but has a compelling reason not to do so (e.g., medical ,family crisis/death etc.).

Passing the course

85% Attendance is compulsory

Students must pass all the subjects in order to receive the Certificate of completion at the end of the year.
Students who have gotten an F, may retake the final assessments for that specific subject.
Scholarship students must maintain a minimum Grade of B, in order to retain their scholarship.

  • Nov 1st, 2020

    Admissions open

  • Dec 8th, 2020

    Admissions close

  • Dec 10th, 2020

    Notification of admission

  • Dec 15th, 2020

    Last date for the payment of deposit

  • Jan 17th, 2021

    Program commencement

  • April 7th - 9th, 2021

    First term assessments

  • June 23rd - 30th, 2021

    Contact classes and assessments in LshVa studios, Bangalore

  • Sept 28th - 30th, 2021

    Second term assessments

  • Dec 1st - 8th, 2021

    Contact classes and final assessments

  • Dec 10th, 2021

    Closing ceremony


Partial scholarships are available for Indian students who are full-time dancers. Scholarships will be awarded based on need and artistic vision.

 If you are interested, and applying for a scholarship, please see the details necessary before you commence on the application form. After filling out the regular application, also send an email with the necessary information.

Email: [email protected]

Subject: Scholarship for 2021

Please share the following information to be considered for a scholarship


A Trikāla Jathi
A Padam
A short original Nritta choreography
(1-3 min excerpt from a Pushpanjali,  Mallari, Jatiswaram, Tillana, or a Jathi are acceptable)

Videos must be uploaded to Youtube or Vimeo with a link. Videos in Google docs will not be accepted.

Artist Statement

1000 words, detailing your intentions with dance, and your current practise.


Financial Need

Proof of financial need, must be attached. Yearly tax statements or any other details of why financial support is necessary must be explained with necessary documents.

Resume of training and experience

Full resume of dance training and experience must be attached. Any information on performing experience, and details of all teachers with information on the of length of training must be explained


The one year foundation certificate is offered to intermediate-advanced practitioners of Bharatanatyam who want delve deeper into the technique and practice of the form. The intensive year of physical and intellectual training is primarily for aspiring performing arts professionals, to prepare them to understand the nuances within the Bharatanatyam vocabulary. The students will learn the basics of the Raadha Kalpa Method, and understand the essentials of a neutral body and mind, and its implications on being a versatile performer.


Dancers between the ages of 16 and 35 can apply to this course.
If you are above the age of 35, there will need to be ample proof of physical activity and absence of injury to be able to enrol in the course.


The applicant must have had solo performance experience and must either currently be a full-time dancer or must be intending to take dance as a career. The dancer must have trained for a minimum of 12 years in order to apply. Students must have finished High school, 12th Grade, or the equivalent in their respective countries, in order to take this course.


The applicant must be proficient in English. A minimum proficiency will also be required to write and communicate content, essays and submissions.

Application form



  • Application form must be finished in one sitting. There is no option to save the application form.
  • If you are interested, and applying for a scholarship, please see the details necessary in the Scholarships tab before you commence on the application form.
  • Incomplete application forms will be disregarded.
  • No emails with respect to admissions will be entertained.
  •  Please note that all final decisions of admissions lie with Raadha Kalpa.

Fee Structure

Fee is inclusive of

Tuition fees, Subscription to the online platform, Two intensives of one week each, Examination fees.

Payment instructions

  •  Please make payments only after you have received an acceptance letter and your payment amount has been communicated to you.
  • You can either make a bank transfer to the following account or pay through Razorpay from the payments page.
    • Account Name: raadhakalpa
    • Account Number: 000031031770019
    • IFSC: DEUT0784PBC
    • Branch: Khar, Mumbai
  • Send the proof of payment as an email to [email protected] with the course you are paying for as the subject
  • Once you have emailed us, you will get an acknowledgement in receipt from us within one week.
  • Please note the fee is exclusive of any bank or transfer fee charges. All payments made on Razorpay will incur an additional charge of 2%


Must be residing in India

INR 1 Lakh per annum


Foreigners residing permanantly in India

USD $2500 per annum


All foreign applicants and residents outside of India

USD $3500 per annum​

Rukmini Vijayakumar

…..Rukmini has burning eyes that repeatedly catch the observer's breath; and she makes those eyes part of the fabric of the dance.... she is not just engaging but also authoritative.

The New York Times (2011, By Alastair Macaulay)

Rukmini Vijayakumar, is the artistic director of Raadha Kalpa Dance Company, and the director of Lshva, a creative space for artists in the heart of Bangalore. She is the founder of The Raadha Kalpa method an educational system for Bharatanatyam that is based on the idea of neutrality. Rukmini’s approach to Bharatanatyam is dedicated, rigorous and layered. She has presented her work as a soloist all over the world, including venues such as the Jacobs Pillow festival, Drive East NYC, and the Korzo Theater. Recently she played ‘the goddess of love’ in ‘Sukanya’, produced by The Royal Opera house in London.
She has studied Bharatanatyam under Guru Padmini Rao, Guru Sundari Santhanam and Guru Narmada. Her style is greatly influenced by the ancient movement practice of Karanas. A Graduate of the Boston Conservatory, Rukmini’s process of creation is both traditional and contemporary. She was a recipient of the Jiri Kylian grant for choreography and a resident choreographer at Korzo theater, Netherlands in 2018. Her productions, Nayani, Prabhavati, AbhimatA, Talattu and The Dark Lord have toured india and the world extensively. Her more recent work, Turiya, MALA, The Muse and Unrequited were created within the contemporary idiom and have been appreciated for their creative approach to the bharatanatyam vocabulary. She was bestowed the title of Arsha Kala Bhushanam by Swami Dayananda Saraswati.