DANCE | EXPRESS | INSPIRE
At Chandralaya, we bring the classical Indian dance to Melbourne both in its purest and contemporary forms. We strive to nurture and develop the inherent artistic interests of each student, giving them a friendly environment to dance, express and be inspired...
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Class venue: 21 Patterson Road,Bentleigh - 3204
Deepa P Mani has distinguished herself as a talented and versatile dancer in both Classical Bharatanatyam and Contemporary dance. With thirty plus (30+) years of training and experience, Deepa is a consummate dancer with acclaimed performances in India, United States and Australia.
Deepa derives her roots from Chennai, India where she started her training in Bharatanatyam at the age of 6, under the tutelage of Kalaimamani Srimathi. Padmini Dorairajan. She is trained in the Pandanallur and Kalakshetra styles, graduating in 1998 with the title “Nritya Kala Ranjini”. Deepa has performed in acclaimed establishments in India including the National Dance Festival, Mamallapuram Dance Festival, Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan and Tamil Sangam.
Deepa moved to United States in early 2000 and delivered several successful performances travelling widely within the country. Deepa diversified into the contemporary dance when she joined Tehreema Mitha Dance Company (TMDC),well known for its highly athletic and contemporary dance styles. As one of the lead dancers, Deepa performed in eminent productions including Metro DC Dance, Capitol Fringe and Alexandria Performing Arts, to name a few.
In 2008, Deepa moved to Melbourne to join her partner and continued her passion for dance under Dr. Chandrabhanu, renowned artist and performer in Australia and Order of Australia recipient in 2006. Deepa continued to perform in many shows and produced her first Melbourne solo show “Daya” under the Jamudvipa Productions and Chandrabhanu Bharatalaya Academy.
Some of Deepa’s acclaimed moments include the T.C. Parthasarathy award for best danseuse at the Spirit of Youth Dance Festival, Music Academy and the Chandrabhanu Bharatalaya Academy Excellence Award for her performance in Daya. Deepa holds a Diploma in Abhinaya Darpana (Dance Theory) from the Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India and has taught Bharatanatyam for several years in Chennai.
SwaRaRaga Festival, Langwarrin Performing Arts Centre, Melbourne July 2019
Satrangi Festival SKGA Australia, Melbourne June 2019
International Women's Day, Australian Tamil Literary Arts Society, Melbourne 2019
Multicultural Harvest Festival, Valluvar Foundation & Australian Tamil Academy,Melbourne, 2019
RAW REFLECT Artist Showcase , Melbourne, 2019
Indian Summer Festival , MCG, Melbourne 2018
17th Diwali Fair, Australian Indian Innovations (AIII) Inc., Melbourne 2018
Hume Diwali Festival, Multicultural Festival Group and Sahiba Productions, Melbourne 2018
Artscape Festival, The Modell Performing Arts Centre at the Lyric, Maryland 2013
Daya Jambudvipa & Chandrabhanu Bharatalaya Academy, Renaissance Theatre Melbourne 2011
Bharatalaya Dance show(s), Melbourne 2008-2010
Metro DC Dance Carter Barron Amphitheatre, 2008
Capitol Fringe Festival Shakespeare Theatre Company at Harman Centre, 2008
Artomatic Capitol Plaza, Washington DC, 2008
Asian Dance Festival Atlas Performing Arts Centre, DC, May 2008
Alexandria Performing Arts Association & Empowered Women International, Virginia 2008
Happening at the Harman, Harman Centre for Arts, Washington DC 2008
TMDC Performance Black Rock Centre for Arts, Washington DC 2007
Dance Place Washington DC 2007 (2-day show)
Capitol Fringe Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington DC 2007 (4-day show)
An evening with TMDC Jack Guidone Theatre, Washington DC 2007 (2-day show)
25th Annual Winter Dance Concert, The Theatre Malz, Washington DC, 2007
Atlas Performing Arts Centre, Washington DC 2006 (2-day show)
Metro DC Dance Awards Nominate Now! -Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Maryland 2006
Jack Guidone Theatre, Washington DC 2006 (2-day show)
Waddell Theatre, Northern Virginia 2005
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Centre, Dance Theatre 2005
Annual ceremony for Abinaya Natya Sala, Maryland 2004
Bharatanatyam recital, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia 2002
Introduction to Bharatanatyam, New Mexico 2001
Bharatanatyam recital, Indian Association of Dance, New Mexico 2001
Golden Jubilee at Christian Medical College, India 2000
National Dance Festival, Mamallapuram, India 1998-2001
Spirit of Youth Festival, Music Academy, India 1999
Tamil Sangam Festival, India 1999-2001
Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan Festival, India 1999
Bharatha Shakthi, Karthik Fine Arts, India 1998-1999
Bharatha Shakthi Premiere, Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan, India 1998
Arangetram, Museum Theatre, India 1998
Annual Kalaanjali Festival, India 1996-2001
"Deepa Ponnappan, yet another bright, pleasing dancer with a calm, composed, and confident approach. Deepa exhibited a thorough training in her chosen tradition through the items which she presented in a neat manner. Deepa’s execution of the technical, as well as mimetic sections of the “varnam”, was appealing. Padmini Dorairajan takes credit for training Deepa Ponnappan, yet another bright, pleasing dancer with a calm, composed, and confident approach. At the Spirit of Youth Dance series of the Music Academy, Deepa exhibited thorough training in her chosen tradition through the items which she presented in a neat manner".!"
-Nandini Ramani, Dancer, Scholar and longtime Dance Critic,The Hindu
“Deepa Ponnappan focused on the fluid, southern style of Bharatanatyam. Because of Ponnappan’s great attention to detail, skill and beauty were embedded in every piece. The demonstration was a creative mixture of attributes and had all the properties of a physical and spiritual experience ”
- Daily Lobo, New Mexico
"Chandralaya joined our school on Multicultural Day leading a workshop for Year 4 & 6 students. Deepa engaged the students brilliantly providing a detailed explanation of the cultural background of the dance styles. Students observed a range of key movements and then had a go themselves with smiles on their faces as they immersed themselves into another culture. Deepa went above and beyond with coordinating the 45 min workshop even meeting with us a week earlier to discuss details. It was an authentic experience for all students exceeding our expectations for the day."
- Ryan Fede, St. Paul’s Primary Melbourne
"Deepa is an amazing dance teacher. Deepa shared the different Indian art forms and demonstrated the dances to 300 students during our Cultural Festival. Deep also conducted dance workshops and engaged all our students effectively. They love her workshops. Really easy to work with!' "
-Wai Ling Lee , Geelong Grammar, Toorak Campus
Classical - Bharathanatyam
Bharathanatyam is poetry in motion. It is the traditional and stylised dance form hailing from the southern state in India - TamilNadu. One of the oldest of all classical dance forms, Bharatanatyam is highly known for its grace, purity, statuesque and sculpturesque poses. The dance form uses very intricate techniques requiring many years of practise to master. It brings every muscle in the body into use and is divided into two primary elements Nritta (body movements) and Nritya (expressions) forming what is known as Natya.
Contemporary Dance is a break from the traditional, extending and challenging the boundaries of the classical dance form. Contemporary dance encourages creativity, reflects our times and combines several kinds of forms from Bharatanatyam to Jazz to Ballet into music, imagery and fashion. The artist performing contemporary will typically be trained and skilled in one or more of the classical dance forms and will build on the vocabulary of movements and create their own style and purpose.
Classical / Contemporary - Bridging
The Bridging form mostly uses pure Bharathanatyam techniques but presents the dances in a Contemporary format with modern visual vibes. These dances are known as “bridging dances’.
Class Schedule & Attire
Beginners (5.5 -11 years)
Level 1 Kids (5.5-9 yrs)
Level 2 Kids (7-11 yrs)
Intermediate (12+ to Pre -Arangetram)
Advanced (Post Arangetram & beyond)
Available for intermediate and advanced students only
For intermediate and advanced students only ( as it requires a Classical Art form as a pre-requisite)
***TERM 1 2021 starts Jan 28th – Apr 2nd. Please contact Chandralaya or follow our Socials for exact timings for the above levels.
Beginners and Intermediate kids will wear White Tunic top – half sleeves and black tights with a sash (dupatta) around their waist. During winter months, students are encouraged to wear black / dark blue long sleeves top under their tunic to keep them warm.
Intermediate students preparing for their graduation can transition into the advanced dance (Practice Saree) attire.
Advanced Students must wear the Practice saree costume with black tights.
All Students are requested to wear a simple black or red “Bhindi” for their classes. No accessories including watches and jewellery (except a simple earring -stud) are allowed. We encourage all students to neatly pin their hair to stop them from any distraction.
All training for Bharatanatyam students will begin with a warm-up and warm-down consisting of basic stretching and strengthening exercises.
Beginners will commence their training starting from “Adavus” which are basic units of Bharatanatyam. Students will continue to learn the stages of “Adavus” as well as basic repertoire items thereby strengthening the fundamentals.
Beginners will also spend time learning the theory of the art form which includes “Mudras” gestures and related vocabulary. The theory will help in better understanding the repertoire items through their learning journey.
Intermediate students will work on refining their fundamentals and move towards learning compositions. Students in this curriculum will focus mainly on balancing and mastering the Nritta (movements) and Nritya (expression) components. Theory will also be extended to this group to ensure students are well aware of the vocabulary.
Advanced students will continue to refine their skills by learning complex repertoire pieces and dive into the contemporary art form to experience a different artistic expression.
“Arangetram” or graduation is traditionally attained after 8-9 years of training. Chandralaya will work with students wanting to graduate and collaboratively develop a training plan to to ensure student is equipped with all techniques to attain graduation.
All students will get an opportunity to showcase their skills learnt during the year in the Chandralaya annual function which will be held every year.
Chandralaya School of Dance
0466 616 330
21 Patterson Road, Bentleigh, Vic- 3204
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