‘Discipline and Freedom’:

Hindustani Music and Dance Intensives

Summer and Winter 2019

Study North Indian singing, tabla, instrumental music, and dance in Varanasi, one of India’s main centres for the classical arts.

Course structure & pedagogy:

Our course structure is unique. Classes will be held in the traditional ‘guru-shishya’ style: intensive one-on-one lessons with a practitioner in his/ her home. They will therefore develop in the student a thorough technical base in the particular genre studied.

These will be supplemented with readings, lectures, and discussion, by qualified faculty, on historical-political contexts.

The course structure has been designed to push the student to think about, in intellectually sophisticated and personalized ways:

  • binaries such as traditional/ modern, local/ global, religious/ secular, classical/ folk, etc.
  • the deep connections between mind, body, and environment, and their meaning for individuals and communities in the modern world
  • the meanings of education and ‘heritage’, and herself as a carrier of knowledge

The culmination will be a performance by the student on a professional stage in Varanasi, as well as a written component (usually an academic paper).

Genres offered (separately or in combination):


  • Khayal
  • Dhrupad
  • Thumri, dadra, and other ‘light’ styles
  • Ghazal


  • sitar
  • sarangi
  • violin
  • flute
  • tabla
  • pakhawaj
  • harmonium


  • Kathak
  • Bharatnatyam

Faculty members (selected):

Rajesh Shah (sitar, Banaras Hindu University)

Narendra Mishra (sitar, independent artist)

Kanhaiyyalal Mishra (sarangi, Banaras Hindu University)

Santosh Kumar (flute, Sikkim University)

Kuber Mishra (tabla; Banaras Hindu University)

Hariom Hari (tabla; University of Khairagarh, disciple of Pt. Kishan Maharaj)

Nawal Singh (tabla; VidyaGyan Academy, disciple of Pt. Chhotelal Mishra)

Ritwik Sanyal (Dhrupad singing; Banaras Hindu University)

Devashish Dey (Khayal and semi-classical singing; independent artist)

Nandini Majumdar (Khayal singing; independent, disciple of Pt. Rajan-Sajan Mishra)

Vidhi Nagar (Kathak dance; Banaras Hindu University)

P.C. Hombal (Bharatnatyam dance; Banaras Hindu University)