A couple of years ago I remember reading and discussing with a few friends about the possibility of performance (theory and practical) based assessments/examinations conducted by recognized institutes replacing the traditional arangetrams, especially among the Asian diasporans.
Mr. Ragothaman shared a PDF copy of a 2006 Master’s dissertation titled “Does the introduction of the ISTD South Asian Dance Bharata Natyam Examinations spell the death of the traditional Arangetram in the UK?” submitted by Shalini Bhalla to the School of Arts, Roehampton University . Of course the dissertation predominantly concentrates on the curriculum and conduct of UK based ISTD examinations.
Here are a few quotes from this interesting read
One of the many criticisms of arangetrams today is the amount of money spent on them. The answer to this could be that if people have the money and time to spend on arangetrams – then that is their choice. If parents want to fund an arangetram, and the community backs it then there really can be no reason why this should not happen.Although not everyone involved in the examination system is convinced by this, and the notion that it is more about training teachers rather than performers has been discussed
One also often hears about commercially driven arangetrams presenting dancers who are not yet ready, or interested students not able to afford arangetrams. But can a graded examination accurately assess a student’s performance skills?
So, what do you readers feel?