Erasmus Mundus Choreomundus investigates dance and other movement systems (ritual practices, martial arts, games and physical theatre) as Intangible Cultural Heritage within the broader contexts of Ethnochoreology, the Anthropology of Dance, Dance Studies, and Heritage Studies. The program is offered by a consortium of four universities recognised for their leadership in the development of innovative curricula for the analysis of dance.Choreomundus focuses on fieldwork and formal analysis of movement, and engages with a variety of theoretical and methodological frameworks. The programme develops an appreciation of dance that is comparative, cross-cultural, applied, and embodied, and gives students the tools for making sense of intangible heritage within a culturally diverse world.
Sumedha Bhattacharya is an Erasmus Mundus Scholar. She holds the Bachelors in technology degree from the University of Engineering and management, Jaipur. She has also been a part of the Young India Fellowship for the 2015-16 batches. She recently got the Erasmus Mundus Choreomundus scholarship for an international Master in Dance, Knowledge, Practice and Heritage.
For a start can you tell us something about yourself and your journey of self interest in arts?
I started off with a normal education like everyone else. I got interested in arts from a very early age. Dance came in first because of my mom, as she was a dancer herself. I was perhaps lucky to get into different form of arts like I got classical musical training for four years and I did painting for a while where I even got an award and so on. Dance is something which I continued because it got into me and I felt connected to it. I am doing it for more than 17 years now. Education wise if you talk about, I took up Engineering in my bachelors from Jaipur . Since Jaipur was close to Delhi I used to get lot of opportunities for strengthening my dancing abilities.
You have applied for the Master degree in Dance, Knowledge, Practice and Heritage. What is your motive behind pursuing this course?
I would say that YIF gave me a very broad perspective. I could mix dance with other stream, say dance and poetry. I saw dance with a very different perspective and I was fascinated by the idea of intermixing it with other form of arts. I was into music, dancing, painting and all the other form of arts; this course seems to be an epitome of interdisciplinary approach. Young India fellowship has helped me a lot to understand this interdisciplinary approach where I can get through with it in the coming years.
Who can apply for the Erasmus mundus choreomundus scholarship? What are the eligibility criteria?
Absolutely anyone with the bachelor’s degree can apply for this scholarship. As now they are even considering fellows outside of that of the humanities background. It is important however that you chose a relevant background where you are applying. You also have to have academic groundings for the course you have applied for. Choreomundus is looking for a practise based research which means you need practical orientation as well as academic experience in the course you have chosen to apply for.
What is the protocol for applying to the Erasmus Mundus Choreomundus scholarship?
Protocol is very simple and it follows an online procedure. The thing is, not a lot of people know about this scholarship and that’s where the trouble lies. While you are filling the online application form, you need to have your IELTS or TOEFL score with the minimum bandwidth score of 6.5, you have to submit your SOP and portfolios and brochure is also something which you can attach.
What abilities do you think you possessed which has helped you in getting through with this prestigious scholarship?
I think first and foremost would be my ability to do a multi task. From my experience I can say that to get through to this scholarship you have to find a place where you can see you future and your career, you have to prepare for it thoroughly. I was immersed in whatever I was doing perhaps I should say I was obsessed with it. As I was doing whatever things that came in my way in terms of dance while I was in YIF. I was always curious enough and exploring websites or any opportunities that can come on my way where I’ll get a chance to show my potentials. Also what I feel is that there was in a way inert ability in me to enjoy the moment during that phase of life, enjoying the struggle that I was going through and being optimistic about the future endeavors without compromising the present. Most importantly, I would like to mention is the role of the ‘Guru’ in my life has helped me to build that particular ability. You have a very special relation with a guru as you become his devotee and he does not only train you in terms of learning certain skill but also adds values and quality to whatever you are possessing from him.