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Kathak Exposition

Tuesday, June 04, 2019
By Vijay Shanker

Kalaashram in association with Bhavan's Cultural Centre organised the two days Pancha-tatva Kathak festival at the Bhavan's S.P Jain auditorium last week. The festival featured the seminar on Kathak and the Kathak performances by young talented dancers.

Kalaashram is headed by accomplished Kathak exponent Renu Sharma, who is among the senior most disciples of the veteran Kathak exponent Padmavibushan Birju Maharaj. Besides the workshop for children and young talented dancers, the two days festival featured young talented dancers like Antara and Tanvi, disciples of Renu Sharma, Poorva Shah from Pune, Tarini Tripathi from Mumbai, Rujuta Soman from Pune, disciples of Rekha Madkaikar from Goa, Nidhi Prabhu, Ayan Banerjee and Elisha Deep Garg from New Delhi.

The seminar "Kathak in the city of dreams - Mumbai" was organised in the presence of Pt Birju Maharaj, Saswati Sen, Kathak exponent Padma Sharma, Poornima Pandey of UP Sangeet Natak Akademi, Yatender Mishra, vocalist Shailesh Srivastava and session was moderated by Renu Sharma and Saswati Sen. The seminar focused as to how Kathak has evolved and developed over the years and become quite popular due to the Kathak exposition in movies like Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Devadas" and Kamala Hasan's "Dashavataram".and due to invaluable and outstanding contribution by Pandit Birju Maharaj.

While most of the dancers performed quite well, the Kathak performance by Pune based danseuse Rujuta Soman was the best. While revealing her control over the technical aspect of Kathak, Rujuta also proved her command over the aesthetic and expressional quality with the rendering of Kishori Amonkar's "Barsaat Ghar Aayo" sung effectively by Raghunandan.

With the perspectiva of "trishna"(thirst) Rujuta interprets the philosophical version as to how man is always craving for something, thirsty and hungry for more, which is symbolised in the form of the rain that quenches your thirst but leaves you thirsty again. Rujuta is the disciple of the veteran mentor Rohini Bhate and is a brilliant danseuse. Rujuta was elegantly attired but I was wondering why she selected the black colour contrasting with maroon and gold border. A fine initiative to encourage young talent.

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