Known as the erstwhile Baroda Music College, the Faculty of Performing Arts was launched in February 1886 on an experimental basis with Khan Saheb Maula Bax as its first principal. He headed the ‘kalavant khata’ (department of artists) established by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad. Khan Saheb introduced the notation system in India, which was later on refashioned by Pt Bhatkhande and Pt Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. After serving the institution for 10 years and his demise in 1896, his son Khan Saheb Dadumiya alias K.S. Murtusa Khan was given the charge of the institution, which he served till the year 1919. Later, several prominent musicians headed the institution.
In 1884, Shri Sayajirao Gaekwad III founded a ‘Sangeet Shala’ in Baroda. This became the college of Indian Music, Dance and Dramatics – a part of the Faculty of Fine Arts – at the inception of the MS University of Baroda in 1949. Since 1986, it has been known as the Faculty of Performing Arts, one of India’s reputed institutions for in-depth study of the classical performing arts.
The erstwhile Baroda State had done pioneering work in many areas. The educational plan of the state included the study of fine arts and music as far back as 110 years ago. Sayajirao Gaekwad III was all for art education and to him goes the credit for creating the first school of music in India. For the first time in India, the University of Baroda recognised the teaching of fine arts at the university level.
A unique faculty in the entire western region, the Faculty of Performing Arts imparts training at the university level in performing arts – Music, Dance, Drama – offering courses up to Ph.D. The faculty also attracts students from foreign countries – UK, USA, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mauritius, Japan, etc.
The city of Vadodara considers this faculty as the cultural hub of the city.
Performing Arts cannot survive in isolation. They have to change with the times as the applications and implications of art keep changing. It is the endeavour of the faculty to form a bridge between the conventional and the most modern. Keeping close to this basic view, the faculty encourages research in various fields of interest and knowledge both at the student and the teacher levels.
Many students and teachers are recipient of State and National Scholarships based on their academic merits, performances and research. Seminars, Workshops and projects aided by reputed agencies like State and Central Sangeet Natak Academies, National School of Drama, West Zone Cultural Centre, etc., have been conducted in the last couple of years.
Brief overview about the Consultancy / Extension / Community Services provided by the Faculty
The extension and consultancy projects taken up by the faculty are in the fields of Dance, Drama, Vocal Music and Instrumental Music.
Under the Maharaja Sayajirao University Act, the college of Indian music conducting certificate and diploma classes in Indian music was transferred to the University from April 1949.
The college was renamed as the ‘College of Indian Music, Dance and Dramatics’ on June 30, 1953. Since 1950, the institution has developed into a full-fledged college.
In the year 1985 the institution developed into Faculty of Performing Arts due to efforts of senior professors.
The departments of the faculty have several achievements to their credit. For instance, the department of Dramatics is the first of its kind in the country preparing for degree and diploma courses at the University level and is held in high esteem.