Festival of Kathak dance
December 20, 2005 Kalaivanar Arangham, Chennai
Text & Photos: Lalitha Venkat

December 26, 2005

Sangeet Natak Akademi, Kathak Kendra, Delhi and Kalakshetra Foundation presented a Festival of Kathak dance for 4 days. The performances were held at Kalakshetra for the first 2 days and Kalaivanar Arangham for the last 2 days. The last day featured 3 performances.

Sharvari Jamenis and Rujuta Soman

Sharvari Jamenis and Rujuta Soman from Pune are students of guru Rohini Bhate. They started with the Ardhanari Nateswara Stotra, followed by pure dance. The concluding item on one of the ashtanayikas - Virahotkandita nayika has been written and choreographed with music composition by Rohini Bhate.

Rani Khanam is the director of Aamad in Delhi. One of the items she presented was a Sufi composition meaning 'Oh lord, color me in your colors.'

Rani Khanam

Prashant Shah and Anjali Patil from Ahmedabad and Canada performed together. In the last item, they were joined by a group of folk artistes, the Manganiyars from Rajasthan. It was such a joyous presentation that the audience asked for an encore and the artistes obliged!
Prashant Shah, Anjali Patil

Dancer Vyjayanthimala Bali and critic Leela Venkataraman were 2 of the chief guests. Leela Venkatraman said, "We are all singular at the top, but we are different forms at the bottom" and in a world torn by strife and politics, the one force that can cement the people of the world together is art. "We have seen so many aspects of Kathak in this evening's performance - the structured beauty of Kathak to the very difficult 7 ½ matra tal presented by Sharvari Jamenis and Rujuta Soman. Rani Khanam's presentation showed not merely the virtuosity, but also the delicacy and sensitivity of Kathak."

Gitanjali Lal, Director of Kathak Kendra said it was the idea of Mr. Ram Nivas Mirdha, the Chairperson of Sangeet Natak Akademi, to bring the artistes of the world together and this could be seen in a way in the last group, where one artist was from Ahmedabad, one from Canada and the folk artistes from Rajasthan!