The School


The Natyarpana School of Dance & Music was founded by Ramya Kapadia to add to the rich cultural environment of Durham, NC. The parent school, the Natyarpana Dance Company in Madison and Brookfield, WI, was founded in 2003 by Guru Kripa Baskaran. "Natyarpana", the institution, aims to promote the rich cultural heritage of India through classical music and dance.

Classes are offered to both children and adults in:

Carnatic music (voice)

  • Music Theory
  • Voice culture & Breathing Techniques
  • Beginner Training - Sarali varisai, Janta varisai, Upper Sthayi varisai, Dhattu varisai, Alankaram, Geetham, Swarajathi
  • Intermediate Training - Varnam, Keertanam, Introduction to Raga alapana & Kalpana Swaram
  • Performance etiquette
  • Study Section: Composers, Musicians Past & Present
  • Research Projects: Evolution of Music in India, Comparative Study of Musical Genres, Neuroscience & Music


  • Dance Theory
  • Body conditioning
  • Abhinaya (facial expression)
  • Beginner Training - 100 basic adavus (steps) and shlokas (sanskrit verses describing hand gestures and body postures)
  • Intermediate Training - Jatis, kavithuvam, alarippu, jatiswaram, shlokas
  • Advanced Training - Complete margam (repertoire) comprising 7 basic items
  • Nattuvangam - Art of reciting jatis and using the cymbals
  • Carnatic music for dance
  • Performance etiquette
  • Study Section: Tanjore Quartet, Dancers Past & Present
  • Research Projects: Evolution of Dance in India, Comparative Study of Classical Dance Forms of India