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Kathak was his life

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
By Vijay Shanker

Sam Ved Society of Performing Arts in association with the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) organised an evening of music, dance and documentary film as a mark of tribute and to celebrate the 70th birth anniversary of the legendary Kathak maestro, Pandit Durgalal of the Jaipur Gharana at the Little theatre of NCPA.

The evening commenced with the beautiful documentary film of Pandit Durgalal, directed by Indrayanee Mukherjee with the introduction of his life as a student of Kathak who rose  to become one of the leading dancers of the country, by his ardent disciple Uma Dogra; Durga started his training at a tender age under the tutelage of his elder brother, Pandit Devi Lal, who was more like a father for him and as to how he became a brilliant performer due to sheer determination and hard work. Unfortunately he died at the peak of his career when he was in his forties. The film showed the inputs from leading cultural personalities like Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj, critic Leela Vekataraman, photographer Avinash Pasricha and  his family members who paid glowing tributes and commented on his dynamic personality who was also a honest and sincere person.

The performances included a Kathak recital by Indrayanee Mukherjee, disciple of Guru Uma Dogra and a theatrical dance presentation by accomplished Bharata Natyam exponent Vaibhav Arekar.

Indrayanee performed with ease and confidence, revealing her command over both technique and footwork. Indrayanee interpreted the astapadi of Jaideva, "Sakhi hay Keshi Madana" that picturises the inter-relatiohship of Radha and Krishna. With music by Vinayak Netki, one can expect a more involved performance. Vaibhav's Bengali poetic interpretation was intense for his emotional quality that touches your heart due to its tragic ending that follows the dictum that  Mother gives birth to a child and Child gives birth to a Mother.

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