Spicmacay Gurukul Anubhav Scholarship
- Nita Vidyarthi
e-mail: nitavidyarthi@gmail.com

July 28, 2013

The International Convention of SPICMACAY was held in Kolkata recently and the best gurus of Indian classical music and dance from the country spared their valuable time to impart training to the participants. One of them was the acclaimed Kathak dancer and renowned resident guru and choreographer Rani Karnaa, who has not only been teaching the art for years in her institution Samskritiki Shreyaskar but presenting wonderful productions like Surya, Navrang, Sadh and other works of Tagore, to name a few.

The lucky five, Sahana Arun Kumar from New Delhi, M Vasanthi from Chennai, Radha Prassana Joshi from Pune, Mriganayani Mukherjee from Nagpur and Soumya Shrivas from Bhopal, trained under this knowledgeable guru under the Spicmacay Gurukul Anubhav Scholarship for a full month in her institute in Kolkata, starting at 8.30am in the mornings till 10 and after lunch break till 5pm. Ten senior students of the institute also attended the workshop.

The focus was on holistic training. Other than the regular riyaz encompassing the various  elements of the idiom,  attention was given to body fitness through a number of yoga sessions, warm up and stretch exercises under the  supervision of  experts Priyabrata Chakravarty and Amalan Chowdhury.

To develop awareness and a good sense of rhythm, tabla lessons were given by Siddhartha Bhattacharya. The students had access to at least three audio-visuals sessions by Vikram Iyengar to give them an exposure to not only the classical dance forms but also to Western and Indian Contemporary ones. Naresh Mukherjee also had sessions in tabla and Subashis Bhattacharya on vocals so essential for a complete training in the dance form. Outdoor activities included visit to heritage sites like Rabindranath Tagore’s residence at Jorasako, Presidency University, the famous book market on College Street, Nandan Complex and watching Uday Shankar’s legendary film Kalpana at Nandan. An outing to Padatik, Buildwell Theatre to observe the students of Sharmila Biswas present the outcome of a workshop in Bhramaris of Odissi and different aspects of Mayurbhanj Chhau was undoubtedly an enriching experience.

In an informal gathering of dance and art lovers, these five students proved themselves through their presentations. Rani Karnaa was assisted by her senior-most disciple Sohini Debnath.

Dr. Nita Vidyarthi is a critic of performing arts, specialising in dance, dance theatre and expressions and is a regular contributor to The Hindu, and the Statesman Kolkata in dance, vocal music and theatre. She is trained in Kathak, Bharatanatyam and Manipuri as well as vocal, semi-classical music and Rabindra Sangeet. A Science communicator, Ph.D. in Polymer Science, Commonwealth Scholar and a retired Professor of Chemistry, Nita devotes most of her time to dance and theatre writing.