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


While our doors are temporarily closed in accordance with COVID-19 social distancing measures, Flushing Town Hall would like to share our renowned, global arts programming online. Flushing Town Hall’s dedicated Teaching Artists are offering online classes in the new series “FTH at HOME: Global Arts for Global Kids.” The series of arts education will run Tuesday through Friday, and culminate in an online family matinee performance on Saturday. Each day participants will enjoy short videos of music or dance and post-lesson activities will be available online at FTH website: http://www.flushingtownhall.org/fth-at-home and live on Facebook Page and Youtube Channel each day at 2 PM. Participants are also encouraged to post short video clips of themselves learning on Facebook and tag FTH facebook page @flushingtownhall.


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! Start with this simple activity to learn about India (https://bit.ly/3br5bm7). 


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.


Enjoyed today’s lesson? Check out the post-lesson activity about storytelling through hands: https://bit.ly/34SfWvu

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.


Enjoyed today’s lesson? Check out the post-lesson activity to learn the glossary and explore more Indian folk games: https://bit.ly/3bnDNoZ


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.


Enjoyed today’s lesson? Check out the post-lesson activity to learn more about the music of Kathak: https://bit.ly/3bAsR7u


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 Shah’s adorable song Tara Rum Pum Pum, which is sung in both Hindi and English language. Let’s dance and sing together!


Enjoyed today’s lesson? Check out the post-lesson activity to learn about the song lyrics: https://bit.ly/2VC9sMI


Day 5 

On Saturday, April 25, at 2pm, please tune in to our Facebook Page for a Watch Party and enjoy 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, and Abha Roy gave a pre-show dance lesson to our audience! Clap along and dance around your living room!





Special thanks to Calvin W. Chan, Raymond D. Jasen, Ellen Kodadek, Anne Lewent, William McClure, and TeHsing Niu for underwriting a portion of FTH at Home: Global Arts for Global Kids. 


Flushing Town Hall is pleased to present these programs free of charge but welcomes donations from those who are able and moved to contribute. Donations of any amount are accepted here.


Flushing Town Hall’s facilities are temporarily closed to the public in accordance with COVID-19 safety regulations. Flushing Town Hall’s latest statement pertaining to COVID-19 can be found here.


All videos and contents are for educational purposes only.