I saw this in one of my feeds and it is heartening to see that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has started an elective course called Knowledge Traditions and Practices of India (KTPI) for class eleven and twelve. The various modules include topics such as Music, Dance, Theatre and Drama.
With the encouragements of the CBSE and under the guidance of Prof. Jagbir Singh and Prof. Kapil Kapoor, a group of scholars assisted by educationists prepared ten modules for class XI, which were put online and printed as a textbook (released last July). Each module contains a survey article (an overview of the topic), a selection from primary texts, learning aids (comprehension, activities, projects) and lists of supplementary resources (books, websites, videos), besides numerous illustrations.
For the Twelfth class, Dance has two modules: Classical and Folk. One can download all the modules from the links below. Downloading and reading them is not enough. The following message mentioned in my feed, is the most important task.
If you know any CBSE school with an interest in Indian culture and heritage, do suggest that they contact the CBSE and enrol for the course from the new academic year onward. If you can, forward the circulars to the school and all the modules by downloading from the links below.
Circulars addressed to the Principal.
The ten modules for class XI were:
Module 1: Astronomy in India
Module 2: Chemistry in India
Module 3-1: Indian Literatures, Part 1
Module 3-2: Indian Literatures, Part 2
Module 4: Indian Philosophical Systems
Module 5: Indian Traditional Knowledge on Environmental Conservation
Module 6-1: Life Sciences (1) Ayurveda for Life, Health and Well-being – Part 1
Module 6-2: Life Sciences (2) The Historical Evolution of Medical Tradition in Ancient India – Part 2
Module 6-3: Life Sciences (3) Plant and Animal Sciences in Ancient India – Part 3
Module 7: Mathematics in India
Module 8: Metallurgy in India
Module 9: Music in India
Module 10: Theatre and Drama in India
Eleven modules for class XII were completed earlier this year and are now being printed as a textbook for class XII. They are available online (in alphabetical order):
Module 1: Agriculture
Module 2: Architecture (Part 1, Part 2)
Module 3: Education
Module 4: Dance (Classical, Folk)
Module 5: Ethics
Module 6: Language and Grammar
Module 7: Martial Arts
Module 8: Other Technologies
Module 9: Painting
Module 10: Society State and Polity
Module 11: Trade
Disclaimer: I am not being critical of this new elective course. I love these elective courses!!! I wish I had these, when I did my eleventh and twelfth!
Glancing at the modules, somethings that made me situp were:
- Rather than making the students go and find a book to read more, the modules have extensive YouTube links and website links. A big Thumbs up to the committee for bringing in gen-X tools in classroom!!
- I spoke too soon. Since CBSE is not hosting these videos (IMO, they should start a YT channel and get rights to host videos for this elective course), it probably forgot that the uploader mostly removes the video by making it private or some copyright violation, thus making the links obsolete. For example, this one: “Kucipudi [sic] Dance Concert, part 1/8. Performed By Raja Radha Reddy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92qGxUj7sxw “. Good luck finding that again with no other information of what the performance was or who uploaded it.
- In the chapter on Kshetrayya the first activity is “Research and read more on the role of Nāyakis (heroines) in Kṣetrayya’s padamas
and on a dancer’s interpretation of their classicism, uniqueness and range through abhinaya.” Awesome!
- In Theatre and Drama some questions are: “Define nāṭyadharmī and lokadharmī. Cite examples from contemporary media. Do we see elements of nāṭyadharmī and lokadharmī in film industry and theatre practices in various parts of India?” Nice!
- “What are some of the recurrent themes that we see in movies? Compare them with those in Nāṭyaśāstra.” This tickles my brain!
- The idea and the preparation of these modules is a commendable task. My hat-tips to CBSE for bringing these to schools. But one glaring thing is: Why aren’t any dancers/dance teachers names not in the Materials Production Team list? The only name I identify is Prof. Bharat Gupt! Were the institutions (Santiniketan, Kalakshetra, Kalamandalam, and others having excellent teachers) not consulted in making the modules pertaining to Music and Dance?
- In the Classical Dance module “In the early 20th century, Uday Shankar laid the foundation of what may be termed modern Indian dance as opposed to any of the Indian classical forms; his style came to be known as oriental dance. At the same time, art exponents such as Rukmani [sic] Devi, Menaka, Gopinath and Ragini Devi contributed to the revival of dance forms, which they presented in a manner easily received by spectators.” Right.
- On dance in cinema “The presentation of Indian dance in Hindi cinema has projected modern dances to a global audience. Dance in early Hindi cinema was primarily modelled on classical Indian dance styles and particularly those of historic North Indian dancing girls or on folk dancers.” The…what now?
- “E. Krishna Iyer and Rukmini Devi Arundale renamed sadirattam as Bharatanatyam in the 1930s.” Ahem!!!
- The image below with hap-hazard labeling, makes me wonder if the students would get to understand the correct finger positions of the mudras. I hope they don’t break their fingers while trying these out!! I can point to two/three other online resources with better illustrations!!! 😦
- While there are YouTube links provided for other Classical dances under “Internet Resources”, there is NONE for BN. I think the team thought that there too many YT videos online already and students will find it anyway. So they didn’t bother to include the good ones?
- The Folk module is only 10 pages!!!