Week #4: Indian Dance with FTH Teaching Artist Abha Roy

This week’s lessons introduce you to Indian dance led by Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artist Abha Roy. Abha is a master dance teacher and choreographer, specializing in Kathak, a classic northern Indian dance form. You may have seen her teaching youngsters in our schools or performing on stage at Flushing Town Hall with her popular Diwali Dance Party. But we join her at her apartment in Queens as we practice safe distancing. She introduces a series of joyful dances which allow us to explore Indian culture, play as a kid, and tell stories through movement!  

>>Click HERE for a pre-lessons family activity sheet


Day 1 

Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artist Abha Roy introduces you to Indian classical dance with a fun and easy-to-follow dance — Khwab Khwab (dream). At the beginning of the dance, there is a beautiful moon with clear shiny stars while all the children are sleeping and dreaming. Then comes the happy morning with bright sunlight, children are getting ready and hoping to get new clothes from the village fair. Do they get the new clothes? What different moods do they have? Khwab Khwab describes children playing games of imagination while hoping their dreams come true! The song is sung by Antara Chowdhury.

>>Click HERE for a post-lesson family activity sheet


Day 2 

Satoliya is one of the oldest and most popular games played in India. It consists of a ball and seven small stones piled on top of each other, which rule is similar to the dodge ball. Today Abha teaches a folk dance based on the game of Satoliya. The song, sung by folk singer Ila Arun, depicts a scene in the western part of India “Rajasthan” where children playing games outside, eating local green vegetables and Roti, Indian flatbread of millet.

>>Click HERE for a post-lesson family activity sheet


Day 3

Kathak is a storytelling dance. It’s a classical dance from the northern part of Indian. In this lesson Abha teaches particular hand movements and basic foot work including 16 beats (4x4=16) and spinning techniques. Everything will start from the first beat and will end only on the same first beat after a cycle/cycles of 16 beats. You will also learn about Indian wardrobes and some musical instruments that are commonly used to accompany the Kathak dance. 

>>Click HERE for a post-lesson family activity sheet


Day 4 

Through dance movements, expressions, and singing, this folk dance teaches children about road safety such as what precautions they should take when crossing the road, what color is for stop and what color to go. Abha has choreographed this dance based on Falu Sha’s adorable song Tara Rum Pum Pum, which is sung in both Hindi and English language. Let’s dance and sing together! 

>>Click HERE for a post-lesson family activity sheet


Day 5 

Today we will enjoy a footage from one of our 2019 Global Mashups concert series: Bollywood Meets Global Roots Blues. The performance featured Grammy-nominated, New York-based Indian vocalist Falu Shah, whose quartet combines traditional roots with inventive rock!