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Creative Saturday: Tala 101 with Nootana

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Saturday, March 30, 2019, 1 - 3 pm

Learn about the "cycles" of rhythms in Indian classical music and dance, and count along. In Sanskrit tāla literally translates to hand-clapping. This is a Creative Saturday event for families. Cost is $10 per child. Parents and guardians are free. This family-friendly event precedes Nootana's performance Hidden Treasures: Exploring Indian classical music and dance in the Indian Film Industry.

Tickets are $10 per child. Adults are free.


Tala , (Sanskrit: “clap”) in the music of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, a metric cycle with a specific number of beats—from 3 to 128—that recur in the same pattern throughout a musical performance. Tala might generally be equated with rhythm or metre, although the tala procedure has no precise counterpart in Western music. The concept of tala is found in rather different forms in northern (Hindustani) and southern (Karnatak) Indian music. In the north, beats appear in groups of two, three, or four and include strong as well as “empty” beats. The character of the beats and their subdivisions is represented by rhythmic syllables that are recited for practice and sometimes in performance; these syllables correspond to various types of strokes with the finger on the appropriate drum. Southern Indian talas consist of units of one (anudrutam), two (drutam), and three to seven (laghu) beats.

ABOUT NOOTANA: Founded in 2012, Nootana is a 100-percent volunteer-run performing arts ensemble committed to fostering innovation within the Indian classical arts. We perform modern representations of Indian classical music and dance by integrating music, dance, stories, and styles from around the world. 

Sanskrit for “innovation,” Nootana plays a crucial role in influencing the arts space in the D.C. area by increasing the exposure of South Asian culture to residents. Our mission is to build a cultural exchange in the D.C. metropolitan area through performance, education, and outreach. 

With more than 50 professionals, students, and friends that help run the administrative, performance and outreach efforts of the organization, Nootana is able to foster a community of artists.