‘Notinee’ is an ancient Indian word meaning ‘The Dancer’. Notinee Indian Dance specializes in a dance form that blends together two classical Indian dance styles, Manipuri and Odissi, along with elements of folk dances from different parts of India. This ‘blended’ pan-Indian dance form was the brainchild of poet and educator Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), who is Asia’s first Nobel Laureate, and first taught at the liberal arts university Vishwa Bharati that he founded in Santiniketan, India.
Notinee’s mission is to exemplify the spirit of inclusiveness that was at the heart of Rabindranath Tagore’s world-view. The students of Notinee represent ethnicities spanning four different continents, and all the major world religions. They include students who have danced since they started walking, and students who have always dreamed of dancing but had limited opportunities to do so. In Notinee, dancers who are pre-teens and teenagers perform together with dancers who are mothers and grandmothers.
The training in Notinee is rigorous and exacting. The select few students who complete a multi-year curriculum and attain excellence in ‘nritya’ (pure dance) and ‘abhinaya’ (acting in dance) do a ‘Mancha Prabesh’ or Dance Graduation.
Notinee performs regularly at all major dance events in Birmingham and neighboring cities, and has participated in major shows in Nevada, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio and Florida. Notinee has performed in Las Vegas with internationally acclaimed choreographer Sukalyann Bhattacharya, has collaborated with Red Mountain Theater, the Birmingham Boys’ Choir and Shakespeare at Sloss, and has collaborated on special film production of Tagore’s poem ‘Prithibi’ (The Earth) with New Jersey filmmaker Aniruddho Sanyal.