• Theatre
  • Dance
  • Music

Participation in the Theatre Program is open to all students, including those with little or no experience. The program aims to expose students to a range of theatrical styles and techniques and a variety of dramatic literature, ranging from ancient works to the latest in contemporary fiction. The co-curricular program in Theatre features between Class VI to XII, plus a wide range of exciting workshops, professional shows and theatre trips.

The Theatre Program at Collegiate Schools emphasizes the process of making theatre with a strong focus on imagination, personal expression, and creative collaboration. Our Introductory level courses (Class VI-VIII) concentrate on physical and vocal exercises, improvisation, storytelling, and basic approaches to scene study. Our Intermediate level courses (Class IX-X) delve into theatre history, text interpretation and performance, and the related fields of playwriting and design. At the Advanced level (Class XI-XII), students have the opportunity to create original experimental work within the context of a small theatre company, and to conceive and direct a full-scale dramatic production as part of the Theatre Program season. Departmental Study provides a chance for advanced students to focus on one particular aspect of drama for independent work.

Students may take classes in drama for credit (not as a part of CBSE curriculum though) and may choose drama as their afternoon activity. In addition, visiting artists and performers offer master classes, help with productions, and offer other educational opportunities each year.

Through the afternoon theatre program, students perform, direct, design, and do technical work, join the cast or crew of a fully designed and technically supported main stage production. The Performing Arts Centres at Collegiate Schools provide a state-of-the-art laboratory for theatre education, whether students are rehearsing lines, choreographing, building costumes and scenery, hanging lights, mixing sounds, or otherwise collaborating to prepare a final performance for the greater school.

Each term features a faculty-directed production chosen from a wide range of classical and contemporary drama, including a musical, when possible. The drama program also offers intensive hands-on experiences to students who wish to write and direct their own short plays, and to students who prefer to work with theatre professionals in one-on-one tutorials.

All student productions are open to the public and the school community (parents, faculty, alumni) and are free of charge. In addition to student performances, the Performing Arts Centre periodically hosts professional theatre companies, performance artists, speakers, dance companies, and musicians. Students view these professional performances as part of their cultural education and take advantage of the workshops or master classes often offered in conjunction with an event.

Students at Collegiate Schools gain experience not only as actors, but also as directors or as members of the technical teams responsible for stage management, lighting, sound, set design and construction. Pupils from local schools also participate in almost all productions, and with our students, thrive in a positive, creative working environment.

School Plays

Each year's program includes three major school plays (or sometimes a musical).

House Plays

House Plays are both an important House and Drama activity, with Theatre department staff taking a mentoring role, to support the students who have taken on the challenge to direct and/or produce. The House pulls together to produce the play, with students working in all areas – on and off stage.

Junior Drama Society

The Junior Drama Society (JDS) is a popular and fun after-school club that boosts social skills and confidence as well as dramatic experience. It meets once in a fortnight throughout the term.

Theatre Trips

The Theatre group regularly welcomes visits from a variety of touring theatre companies and award-winning work. The Director of Theatre at central office of Collegiate Schools works closely with the Theatre faculty at the school to program events with the students in mind. Theatre trips to plays in nearby cities and elsewhere are also a feature of the extra-curricular life of the school: a number of such visits are arranged each year for students of all ages.

The dance program at Collegiate Schools is based on three main elements - technique, choreography, and performance. Dance students explore each element in detail, though the specific learning experience is tailored to the student's individual strengths, building upon them so each dancer becomes more accomplished and well-rounded.

Collegiate Schools offer a technique class three days a week; it incorporates various movement vocabularies and includes classical Indian dances, modern dance and stretch, among others, based on the availability of the faculty in the local geography. The choreographic component incorporates improvisation for short experimental movement studies, as well as for full-length pieces. Site-specific dances are created, as may performances intended for more traditional stage settings.

Performance opportunities include dance concerts and participation in the annual musical. Additional opportunities to showcase choreography and performance do vary, from informal studio showings to participation in collaborative arts programs.

Students in the dance program enhance and strengthen not only their bodies, but also their leadership skills. By learning to work closely with other members of the class, students improve their ability to collaborate, to explore innovative ideas, to become more disciplined, and to adapt quickly to change.

(A) Modern Dance (Class VI-XII)

This diverse dance form initiates the concept of movement as a medium for both individual and group communication. This course is a multilevel modern program designed to reinforce and develop the individual strengths of each dancer. Various dance styles and concepts are explored through a technique-based vocabulary. Some of the dance forms that are popular are Ballet, Bollywood freestyle dance and Salsa.

Dance Company

The members of this group are selected by audition. With a focus on contemporary and modern dance, more complex concepts in movement, technique, music and performance are introduced. More sophisticated social and cultural themes are explored, emphasizing the individual and group interdependence of dance. Company members are offered the experience of rehearsing and performing works of resident and guest choreographers in the annual Dance Concert. Company members can also audition their own choreographic works for inclusion in the annual Dance Concert.

(B) Indian Classical Dance (Class VI-XII)

The top three most popular dance forms are : 'Kathak' , 'Bharatnatyam' and 'Odisi'

Kathak

Kathak is the most prominent classical dance style of Northern India. The word Kathak' is derived from Sanskrit and loosely translated means 'to tell a story'. This is done through dance and mime, the two main elements of this dance style. In traditional solo performances a dancer may represent all of the characters of a story through a rich repertoire of gestures, facial expressions and graceful movements of the limbs.

Kathak performances normally consist of two parts, nritta and nritya. Nritta, the first and the technical aspect, is a pure dance form focusing on technique, a tremendous sense of rhythm and joy of movement. The beauty of this part of Kathak lies in the exact rendering of rhythmic patterns provided by musical instruments, through graceful body movements and the mystery of the artist's footwork.

Nritya, the second element of Kathak performances, emphasises abhinaya, which is the recounting of a story or song through mime, gestures of the hands and symbolic postures of the body. In the Kathak style, this is not rigid and allows the artist to use a variety of free movements, thus leaving interpretation of a story or poem and rhythmic improvisation greatly to the artist's powers of imagination and creativity. The dramas performed in Kathak come from several different types of Indian literature, the oldest probably being the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Many stories and songs of medieval origin are in praise of Lord Krishna.

Bharatnatyam

Bharatnatyam is the most prominent dance style of South India. Its name, and much of its style and technique, derives from Bharata's Natya Shastra, an ancient handbook on dance and drama. For much of its early history Bharatnatyam was a devotional dance, performed almost ritualistically in temples and at ceremonial processions. It is generally accepted that the sharp and precise technique of Bharatnatyam as it is practised today developed around a century ago.

The Bharatnatyam repertoire is rich and varied, encompassing all three key aspects of Indian classical dance, namely nritta, nritya and natya. The most familiar images of Bharatnatyam, especially the rigid, bent-kneed posture, come from its nritta aspect. A nritta performance comprises of different adavu, or compositions, linked together in combinations and interspersed with various teermanams, rapid and dynamic bursts of rhythm that accentuate a particular moment in the performance. Movements of the eyes and eyebrows, as well as the neck, shoulders and hands are also used to provide some ornamentation and subtlety.

Nritya has its place in Bharatnatyam through abhinaya, whereby the dancer renders, interprets, and gives expression to a song or poem. The theme most often evoked is of sringara, or love, a rich narrative from which a dancer may demonstrate their mastery of facial expressions and hand gestures. The pattern of a Bharatnatyam performance is also prescribed, commencing with alarippu which serves as a brief invocation, followed by jatisvaram, a highly technical segment wherein the dancer interweaves increasingly complex patterns of steps to a richly rhythmic and melodious musical background. Performances generally end with a tillana, combining statuesque poses, intricate rhythms and expressive gestures

Odissi

Odissi dance has its roots in devotional ritual, originating from Odisha state, a state located on east coast of India. It was founded by the Mahari (devadasi) temple dancers, who worked in the service of religious centres such as Puri, Bhubaneshwar and Udayagiri in the 2nd century AD. Odissi is a graceful style of dance, performed only by females, and is based on the history of the Maharis. Being based on devotional ritual, Odissi performances consist of one continuous theme beginning with an invocation to Hindu deities, the earth and dance gurus and ending with a highly technical finale.

A flowing, lyrical dance style, Odissi emphasises use of the neck, waist and knee. A distinguishing characteristic of Odissi is the deflection of the hips. Importance is given to rigid stances and balance and the art form consists of structured footwork techniques, whirling movements and patterns of choreography. Dancers wear a choli and a sari is worn with one end forming a fan-like apron at the waist. Silver jewellery and jasmine flowers in the hair are used as decoration and bells are tied around the ankles and the palms and feet are red-hued.

The most popular work expressed through Odissi dance is the Geet-Govinda by the poet Jayadeva, a story of the playful antics of the child Lord Krishna. A typical Odissi performance opens with a bhumi pranam (obeisance to the earth) and is performed to percussion only, usually the pakhawaj. This is followed by abaatu, a pure dance piece, where whirling patterns are weaved according to certain rhythmic cycles, accompanied by the cymbals and flute. The dancer then expresses her movements to a musical melody (swarapalavi) and finally concludes the performance with an abhinaya-nritta, an expressional item using verses of poetry.

The Music Program at Collegiate Schools seeks to deepen students' understanding of and love for music through rigorous course study, self-discipline, and refined performance. The music faculty in our central curriculum department recognizes that the final product, the performance, is often unique and ever changing, balanced between the technical demands of one's craft and the artistic vision and determination of the individual.

Instruction is available at every level of background and achievement, from the beginner (Class V) to the very advanced (Class XII). Collegiate Schools students have many opportunities to learn and grow through our classroom music courses, performance ensembles and private instruction. Student involvement in band, orchestra, choir, Indian music and private instruction is subject to a placement audition. This audition allows the music faculty the opportunity to determine which instrument and ensemble would best suit a student's talents and schedule.

Classroom music courses, which help to build a student's knowledge of music, are compulsory for Class IV-VIII, and optional courses, such as choir, are available for Class IX-XII. Private instruction is highly competitive and is subject to availability. Lessons are offered first to returning students, then to new students with prior learning, then to beginner students. Waitlists are available for all instruments, but may require a student to wait at least one academic year before there is space available. Frequent recitals encourage performance from an early stage of expertise. Students playing in an ensemble will perform once per semester at the music department concerts which usually occur in November and May. Collegiate Schools are renowned for the strength and depth of its music programmes. Expert individual instruction is available for piano, strings, brass, woodwind, percussion, voice, classical guitar and Indian classical instruments. Visiting performers often hold master classes within many of these disciplines throughout the school year.

Over 60 percent of Collegiate Schools students participate in private lessons and ensembles. The Indian music programme includes not only instrumental instruction, but also traditional singing. Frequent recitals and concerts encourage performance from an early stage of expertise.

Musical instruction begins in Class IV, with the option of studying piano or one of the four major orchestral string instruments. Instruction begins for voice, Indian music, classical guitar, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments in Class VI. Collegiate Schools have an ensemble-centred programme rather than being a virtuoso or exam-centred conservatory.

The Advanced Band, Advanced Orchestra, and Senior School Choir are the three cores around which the music department revolves. The private lessons and examination programme feed the quality of the ensembles by preparing strong musicians.

Program offerings span all genres, including western classical, Indian classical, jazz, and popular styles, and make use of advanced technology. Interested students can elect a program that provides a solid foundation for a college music major or entrance to a conservatory.

Classroom Music

The development of musical skills and knowledge in General Music not only helps reinforce fundamental life skills such as movement, steady beat, and singing, but also helps students learn the basics of music reading, playing instruments in a group, and appreciating different aspects of music as a listener.

Indian Classical Music

Sitar, tabla, santoor, flute, veena, classical Indian guitar, or classical Indian voice.

Singing

Opportunities to study and enjoy singing.

String Instruments

Violin, Viola, Violoncello and Double Bass.

Band Instruments

Brass, woodwind and percussion.

Piano

Opportunities to study piano.

Western Classical Guitar

A popular choice, with competition for places.

Basic performance-based courses introduce small groups of students to a discipline that they may go on to study in individual music instruction. The rudiments of music theory are taught in the basic courses. Individual music instruction is offered at all levels of study. Through discipline and technical development, instructors seek to provide the skills necessary for students to participate in ensembles and to allow students to achieve their own artistic goals.

Ensembles offer a chance for students to inspire and encourage each other toward a community goal of exciting, high-quality performance. All musicians new to Music Program ensembles complete an audition to be placed in appropriate groups. Returning students audition prior to course registration for the upcoming academic year.

Performance opportunities at Collegiate Schools range from all-school assembly performances to studio performances, recitals, and informal presentations in school annual functions and other venues. Students are encouraged by teachers and peers alike to challenge themselves and to take personal risks in a supportive atmosphere.