School of Performing Arts

School of Performing Arts

Background

The School of Performing Arts was initially known as School of Indian Music and Dance and was set up on 11th April 1964 in Beau Bassin. In the year 1975, it merged with Mahatma Gandhi Institute and was known as the School of Indian Music and Fine Arts. Later on, in 1983, it was called the Department of Indian Music and Dance and eventually upon the decision of the MGI/RTI Council of August 2006, it became the School of Performing Arts (SPA). In line with the vision and mission of the MGI, the School of Performing Arts is actively engaged in promoting culture. Through its seven departments, the School of Performing Arts is the apex body responsible for and carrying out a whole gamut of activities, including teaching, learning, cultural activities and research. The departments are as follows:

  • Department of Vocal Music
  • Department of Percussion Instruments
  • Department of Stringed Instruments
  • Department of Dance
  • Department of Decentralisation of Music and Dance, Distance Education & E-Learning
  • Department of Curriculum Development
  • Department of Creativity and Performances

Vision

At the School of Performing Arts, we cater to academic, cultural, community service, staff development, curriculum development both at national and international level. Updating, data collecting of researches, maintenance, sustenance are some effective tools in catering for the development and promotion of music and dance.

Through our strategic plan, the School of Performing Arts struggle to face various challenges and to make the school more visible both nationally and internationally by performing and also interacting with other countries such as China, South Africa and Australia.

Mission

  • To present an art-work comprising music, dance drama and fine arts;
  • To present an original artistic product blending traditional and contemporary elements of Indian and other systems
  • To create the opportunity for creative and innovative artistic activities
  • To create the opportunity for more team work and cooperation among members of staff of the School of Performing Arts and other outside artistes
  • To live up to the mandate of the MGI in promoting and perpetuating culture
  • To present work of art bearing a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach
  • To ensure lifelong teaching and learning.
  • To ensure quality in academic, cultural and researches.
  • To ensure that skills and competences are enhanced through staff development programme.
  • To ensure visibility and cater for the betterment of community service.
  • To ensure sustenance and preservation of intangible cultural heritage.
  • To ensure that the community is moulded into peaceful and better citizens.
  • To ensure that we are in line with world class education.
  • To ensure that integrity is focused in our day to day activities.
  • To ensure that research oriented studies are carried out.
  • To ensure that staff are treated on humanitarian grounds.
  • To ensure that marketing is conducted for capacity building.
  • To ensure that updating, reviewing of courses are carried out for the Curriculum Development.
  • To ensure that monitoring exercises are carried out to address challenges and issues.
  • To ensure that the school runs smoothly through maintenance, evaluation exercises.

Courses Offered

In line with the government’ policy to make Mauritius an intelligent nation state, the School of Performing Arts has now developed into a vibrant and dynamic entity of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, with a broad spectrum of academic programmes in nine disciplines namely:

  • Vocal Hindustani Music
  • Vocal Carnatic Music
  • Tabla
  • Mridangam
  • Sitar
  • Violin – Hindustani
  • Violin – Carnatic
  • Veena
  • Bharata Natyam
  • Kathak
  • Kuchipudi

The Programmes of studies offered by the School of Performing Arts include the following:

  1. Children’s course in seven disciplines (2/3 years part time)
  2. Certificate Course in all the nine disciplines (3 years part time)
  3. Advanced Certificate Course in all the nine disciplines (2 years part time)
  4. Foundation Course in Vocal Music (Carnatic) (1 ½ year full time)
  5. Diploma in Performing Arts - all the nine disciplines (3 years part time)
  6. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Performing Arts in Vocal Hindustani, Vocal Carnatic, Tabla, Sitar Bharata Natyam and Kathak (2 years part-time)
  7. Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Instrumental Music, Vocal Hindustani and Indian Dance) in Collaboration with the MIE (2 years part-time)
  8. General Education Modules:
    • An introduction to Indian Classical Dance
    • An introduction to Rhythm
    • An Appreciation of Vocal Hindustani Music
    • An Appreciation of Vocal Carnatic Music
  9. Master in Performing Arts – Vocal Hindustani, Sitar and Bharata Natyam, Kathak (2 years part time)

Other courses that will be launched as from the academic year 2018/2019 are:

  1. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Performing Arts in Vocal Hindustani Music (4 years full-time)
  2. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Performing Arts in Vocal Carnatic Music (4 years full-time)
  3. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Performing Arts in Bharata Natyam (4 years full-time)
  4. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Performing Arts in Kathak (4 years full-time)
  5. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Performing Arts in Violin (2 years part-time)
  6. Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Performing Arts in Kuchipudi (2 years part-time)
  7. Foundation course in Veena (1½ years full-time)
  8. Foundation course in Violin (Carnatic) (1½ years full-time)
  9. Hobby course in Guitar

The training programmes are conducted by highly trained faculty members who are committed Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Associate Professor and visiting scholars. The teaching and learning process in the field is an intensive one which is being carried out through individual attention in small class sizes and one-to-one mentorship. The department fosters an artistic process that recognizes each student as an individual with unique creative and intellectual potential. Fulfilling this responsibility requires the ability to motivate, challenge, support and direct individual students. In practice each faculty member has a specific profile of responsibilities showing relationships among such factors as competence, teaching assignments, area of creative or scholarly expertise and philosophy about the roles and purposes of the disciplines. Our staff, students and artistes are fully engaged and participate in programmes at national and international levels.

It is also crucial to note that the excitement, power and achievement of great teaching, creative work – research and service come from individual expertise, inspiration, involvement and more importantly from institutional support.

Student Breakdown
Children Course 360
Certificate Courses 925
Advanced Certificate Courses 39
Diploma 75
Undergraduate Courses (B.A) 13
Post Graduate Courses (M.A) 11

A total number of approximately 1400 students.

As compared to previous years pertaining to 1,200 students.

Staff Breakdown:
Head, School of Performing Arts Dr (Mrs) P M Hungsraz
Associate Professor 2
Senior Lecturers 11
Lecturers/Assistant Lecturers 7
Educators 3
Part timers 16
Full Time Temporary 2
Senior Performing Artistes (CPD) 6
Performing Artistes (CPD) 6
Full Time Temporary Performing Artiste (CPD) 1
Educators/ Asst Instructors (DDMDE) 23
Part timers (DDMDE) 38
Full Time Temporary (DDMDE) 25
Administrative Staff 12
Office Attendants 3
Total number of staff 155

CALENDAR OF MAJOR ACADEMIC AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Cultural Activities

DateOccasionDetails of Activities
02 February World Hindi Secretariat World Hindi Secretariat Journal acknowledged the drama on Abhimanyu Unnuth’s poetry “Appravasi Ke Teen Din” with the participation of School of Performing Arts.
11 April 2017 Annual Show Student’s Annual Show entitled “Nishta- dedication”
20 June 2017 Ragapriya First episode of ‘Ragapriya’ was aired on MBC TV
21 June 2017 Music Day Music day organized by the Ministry of Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Conservatoire Nationale de Musique Francois Mitterand and China Cultural Centre along with delegation from Tiangjin was highly appreciated.
July 25, 26, 27 2017 Initiation on Music and Dance 3 days Initiation sessions in Music and Dance with positive response inclusive of Press and Media.
11 September 2017 Mid-Autumn Festival Annual Mid-Autumn Festival
11 September 2017 NCF NCF Textbook Writing and syllabus for Grade 7 in process.
7 October 2017 BOI At the request of the Board of Investment (BOI), the School of Performing Arts along with two other schools, namely: School of Fine Arts and School of Mauritian and Area Studies mounted a cultural programme at Trianon Convention Centre on the occasion of Mauritius International Film Festival which was highly appreciated.
13 October 2017 Divali Show The School of Performing Arts put up its annual Divali Show entitled “Jyoti Keernam” in the Auditorium of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute which was congratulated by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius.
13 October 2017 Hindi Divas The School of Performing Arts participated in the Rodrigues Hindi Divas at Port-Mathurin, Rodrigues.
21 October 2017 Divali – Bagatelle On the occasion of Divali, the School of Performing Arts mounted a 2-hr cultural programme at Bagatelle Mall which was highly appreciated.
18 November 2017 Children’s Programme End of Year Children’s programme entitled “Rocking Stars” was successfully held in the MGI Auditorium
28 November – 4 December 2017 Thiruvalluvar Day 2018 The School of Performing Arts recorded songs for a CD composed by MGI artistes on Thiruvalluvar
    E-Learning Dinner programme for members at International level

The School of Performing Arts recorded cultural programmes at the MBC as follows:

  • 9 February 2017 -  Cavadee
  • 15 March 2017 -  National Day Celebrations
  • 27 March 2017 -  Ougadi – “Ananda Utsavam”
  • 4 July 2017 -  Guru Purnima
  • 24 August 2017 - Ganesh Chaturthi “Ganeshotsav”
  • 17 October 2017 -  Divali, “Ashta Lakskmi
  • 13 November 2017 - Another facet of Indian Music and Dance
  • Opening of a New Centre at Petit Raffray District Council
  • Linkages with Hindu Girls College
  • CACA Link with Beijing established on Monday 11 September 2017
  • The Mahatma Gandhi Institute being the centre for harmonization of Music and Dance Courses run by Socio-Cultural organisations, Speaking Unions and Cultural centres for sustainable development.
  • Links with Australia and South Africa for marketing of our courses in process

New syllabi approved for next academic year:

  • BA (Hons) in Performing Arts (Kuchipudi – P/T)
  • BA (Hons) in Performing Arts (Vocal Carnatic – F/T)
  • Foundation course in Veena – F/T
  • Foundation course in Violin (Carnatic) – F/T
  • Hobby course in Guitar
  • ODL Course in Music Therapy

Academic Activities

DateDetails of Activities
January 2017 Staff of Performing Arts conducted a launching of Induction Course in Music and Dance for Educators from Ministry.
14 August 2017 First cohort of MA in Performing Arts (Kathak)
19 December 2017 Induction course / Workshop

Research Publications

Name of academic staffArticles published in internationally refereed journals / international conferences
Dr S K Pudaruth Nation Re-branding through a New Approach to cultural Diplomacy: A Case Study of Mauritius journals. Sagepub.com/toi/abs/101177/215 8244017704483
Dr (Mrs) P M Hungsraz Workshop for Educators in the context of Induction session (Peer micro teaching) – 19 April 2017