Classical templedance from India.
Abhinaya Dance School,
directed by Henriëtte van Staal - Mohanraj is a continuation of
The Abhinaya Dance Academy,
founded in 1983 by Guru Smt. Rajamani († 2003).
Henriëtte began her Bharata Natyam training when she was eighteen years of age, previously she had a ballet training with the Scapino Ballet group and practiced various other dance forms at a young age as well.
From her teacher, Guru Smt. Rajamani, she learned Bharata Natyam in detail, later, she and her husband Ashok Mohanraj †, performed at different stages in Holland. For Henriëtte to continue the teachings in memory of Guru Smt. Rajamani is a great honour.
Henriëtte gives dance courses to children and adults but also to younger children because to start learning Bharata Natyam at a young age is important for good results .
Over the years Henriëtte has specialized in teaching dance and dance-expression to young children.
Hence she developed a technique for children starting at six years. Pedagogically, it is important for children to learn to dance in playful way.
Children as young as 6 years old are taught the basic skills of dance expression of Bharata Natyam by means of hand gestures, posture and expression.
My personal vision on this dance form is:
You could say that dancing is an instinct, a challenging emotion within us
urging us to dance.
On all important occasions people dance, both out of pain as well as from pleasure. An expression of deep emotions.
Children start to dance before they learn to use their limbs.
There are rhythmic elements in nature and in heaven.
Dance is perhaps the oldest art that humans developed.
Dance symbolizes an inspiration which illuminates our earthly bondage and makes us aware of our suppressed feelings.
In brief moments we feel connected to the universe, therefore dance occupies an important position among all people at all times.
From early time it was believed that repetitive rhythmic movements of the body
has a strong influence on the course of things, the behaviour of people and nature could
Because of this every movement intentionally became important.
Dancing became a spiritual sense, a medium for worship, the doors to the soul. "