Nalanda Dance Research Centre, a non-profit public trust, is a premier institution enjoying a unique position in the world of dance and education. Established in 1967 by the renowned dance exponent and scholar Dr. KANAK RELE as an institution to impart traditional training in classical Indian dancing, Nalanda blossomed by 1973 into a unique three-tiered institution with foundation classes for pre-university children, "Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya" a College of classical dancing affiliated to the University of Mumbai providing formal academic education and its different departments for post-doctoral and fundamental research.
Nalanda Dance Research Centre is officially recognized research institute by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India., the only dance institution to be so recognised.
Acceptance of formal academics in dancing at the university level and recognition of dance as a full-fledged discipline for scientific research are the two pioneering achievements of Nalanda which have justifiably earned it the premier position.
Nalanda is primarily engaged in fulfilling three basic aims:
1) Preservation of traditional classical styles in their formal purity by imparting training through the traditional "guru-shishya parampara" method, (teacher-taught tradition)
2) Rejuvenation and adaptation of training methods to meet scientific and technological demands of the fast changing contemporary society and
3) Conducting research projects that enhance the understanding, appreciation and knowledge about dance not only as a cultural phenomenon but also as an adjunct to human development.
It was on Nalanda's proposal that the University of Mumbai introduced the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance),Master of Fine Arts (Dance) and Ph. D. in Dance degrees in 1972. In 1973 Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya became the first exclusive college for dancing in the country affiliated to a premier university. This strong academic approach at Nalanda has naturally created an ideal infrastructure and highly qualified personnel for conducting research in dance and allied arts. The research activities go much beyond analysis and investigation of the technique and performance of dance; the selected projects are aimed at enriching dance for the future by further development and spelling out its intended impact on human life and also its usefulness to the society.
Years ago the eminent indologist late Dr. Moti Chandra had selected the motto and emblem for Nalanda.
विना तु नृत्यशास्त्रेण चित्रसुत्रम् सुदुर्विदम्
(without the knowledge of the science of dance, the other plastic arts cannot be comprehended)-Vishnudharmottara Purana
The emblem of Nalanda shows a dancer who stands on the foundation of Nalanda and is looking upward to the sky to soar on the wings of knowledge and success. Nalanda has more than justified his prophetic vision.