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Co-curricular Courses


Every semester, Ashoka University offers several 2-credit Co-Curricular Courses in Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Language. These normally meet in the evenings once a week for two hours. Co-Curricular Courses are a mixture of practical training in an art form (e.g. dance, theatre, music, painting, ceramics) or language (e.g. French, Latin, Urdu) and critical analysis of the aesthetic, social, political, economic, and historical dimensions of the same.

Students have to take 2 Co-Curricular Courses as part of their graduation requirements; in any semester, a student can take a maximum of 1 Co-Curricular Course.

Performing Arts

1. Indian Regional Dances
Instructors: Surabhi Barua, Arjun Malik, Priya Srinivasan
Students will be introduced to certain practical elements of various ‘occasional’ dances from across the country.

2. Guitar Orchestra

Instructor: Madhavan Somanathan
Students will be introduced to basics of classical guitar playing, including plucking, using classical techniques of rest-stroke and free-stroke, sight-reading and ensemble playing. Students will be required to practice on their own between weekly classes. Attendance will be crucial and there will be an end of semester performance of pieces worked on during the semester.

 3. Contemporary Dance
Instructor: Deepak Kurki Shivaswamy
The practice, theory and history of contemporary dance as practiced internationally with special emphasis on how this practice translates into contemporary dance works being done on the sub-continent.

4. Performance as Protest
Instructors: Mandeep Raikhy, Ranjana Dave
This course looks at performative practices that situate dissent in the body. It explores identity as a source of performance making. How does one translate identity into movement material and locate this in performance? What is the relationship between the political and the aesthetic in dance making? Where does one read resistance in performance – is it in the body or in the contexts that frame the body? What is the place of testimonial performance – how does it negotiate between the medium and the message? Conversely, what is the particular role that the body plays in protest? Is it possible to locate performativity in activism?

In the course, we will study a range of performance works by artists from across the world, in the classroom, while exploring identity as a source for performance making in our own bodies. The course will consist of theoretical and practical components.

5. Rhythm and Timing in Music
Instructor: Dr. Punita G Singh
This course focuses on temporal aspects of music, exploring rhythm and meter and their use in diverse musical genres. Theoretical concepts are supplemented with analytic listening and experiential performance activities.

Some topics that will be covered
Timing in music: An overview of the basics --- beat, pulse, ‘takt’, meter, rhythm
Timekeepers: The role of the drummer, the role of the conductor
Rhythm in Western Classical music: Early, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern, post-Modern

Rhythm in Rock and Jazz
Rhythm and timing in Hindustani music
Rhythm and timing in Carnatic music
Rhythm and timing in Middle-Eastern music
Rhythm and timing in Flamenco
Percussion instruments and rhythm
Live percussion activities

Visual Arts

1. Experiential Drawing 
Instructor: Anni Kumari
The course is structured to encourage participants to draw from experience, transition, dialogue and memory. Going beyond physical observation, explorations with the visceral and the subjective would be encouraged. We will be looking at contemporary drawing practises that involve diverse ideas, perspectives, processes and materials. Recalling Susan Langer 's association of feeling and form and Henri lefebvre 'Rhythmanalysis', exercises would relate to discourses about public-private in urban spaces, digital interconnectedness and social disconnect , functional aesthetics and dysfunctionality.

2. Film Making
Instructors: Gautam Pande, Varun Mathur
An exploration of documentary filmmaking including practical as well theoretical dimensions.

3. Understanding Art through its ideas and practice

Instructors: Yasmeen Tayebbhai, Ajay Desai
In which we will explore the methods and meanings of art, through a brief encounter with its history, as well as through drawing in charcoal, pastels and ink, and the medium of collage. We will also focus on developing individual creativity.


1. Spanish for Backpackers
Instructor: Dario Darji
This will be an interactive course largely focused on basic conversational Spanish. Acting out typical Spanish-language scenarios will be enhanced by discussions on music, culture, literature and life-styles in various Spanish-speaking countries.

2. French II
Instructor: Anuja Kelkar
(Apart from those who have completed the first semester, other interested students may enroll in French II if they can prove a sufficient previous knowledge of the language to the instructor)
In this course the French language will be approached from several angles. Along with basic communication skills, it will be placed in and viewed from various social and cultural vantage points.

3. Conversational Hindi II
Instructor: Harshita Tripathi
(Apart from those who have completed the first semester, other interested students may enroll in Hindi II if they can prove a sufficient previous knowledge of the language to the instructor)
This course is meant for those who are interested in acquiring enough skill in Hindi to be able to communicate with the vast number of Hindi speakers in and around Ashoka’s campus. The emphasis will be on the mastery of the common Hindi needed for everyday conversations and transactions.

4. Urdu II
Instructor: Tanvi Bikchandani
(Apart from those who have completed the first semester, other interested students may enroll in Urdu II if they can prove a sufficient previous knowledge of the language to the instructor)
This course will explore Urdu both as a language and as a cultural phenomenon. Along with exercises in mastering basic language skills, literary Urdu will be examined from social and cultural angles.

Co-curricular Courses