With a vision to celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence through classical dance, Art Hub Foundation established by Kathak dancer Mukti Shri, is organising ‘Aaradhana Krishnarpanmastu’, where four Indian classical dance forms will be coming together for a unique presentation. Mukti shares that the dance forms are Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi and the artists are Parwati Dutta – Odissi, a disciple of Pandit Kelucharan Mahopatra and Pt. Birju Maharaj; Arundhati Patwardhan – Bharatanatyam, disciple of Dr. Sucheta Bhide Chapekar; Sreelakshmi Govardhan – Kuchipudi, disciple of Pasumarthy Rattaiah Sarma and herself, a student of Pandita Shama Bhide and Pt. Suresh Talwalkar.
Speaking about the concept Aaradhana, Mukti assures that it is to string together four prominent classical dance forms of India to the audiences in one evening’s performance. “The evening will bring Kathak, Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam and Odissi in their purest form through Nritta, where the dancers through rhythmic movements create a beautiful abstract drawing in the space. The bhava aspect will celebrate Lord Krishna’s life through musical pieces and short stories about his life,” she says, quickly adding that she will enact connections between the stories of Lord Krishna.
The Kathak dancer reveals that the classical dance performances will be accompanied by live accompaniments, consisting 26 musicians, and this has become a rarity these days due to the challenges posed by logistics and finance. “Performing live is the traditional way and dancers are striving hard to realise it. The highest level of musical communication that one sees in a live performance enthralls audiences. Our attempt is to bring four dance styles live so that one is able to cherish and appreciate the uniqueness of each dance style making it a life-long memory,” she says.
Sharing details about the participating dancers, Mukti Shri says Parwati Dutta is the Founder-Director of Mahagami Gurukul, Aurangabad and an active commentator on Arts, Heritage, Ecology, Indology, Education and Media Studies apart from being an accomplished Kathak and Odissi dancer, choreographer and teacher. She has performed in Festival of India (Germany), Jueonju Sori Festival (Korea), Asia Pacific Festival (Japan), SAARC Festival (Japan), International Kathak Festival (USA), Bangkok International Festival and Festivals of Khajuraho, Ellora, Elephanta and Mukteshwar.
“Arundhati Patwardhan, a winner of National Scholarship given by the Govt. of India for the advanced training in Bharatanatyam, has researched on dance sculptures in Maharashtra and Bharatnatyam. She has performed widely all over India and abroad as a solo dancer and with her Kalavardhini dance company,” she says. Mukti highlights that Arundhati’s repertoire includes traditional Bharatnatyam compositions, Nritya Ganga (a dance presentation which is a synthesis of Bharatnatyam and Hindustani music which is a brain child of her mother and Guru Dr. Sucheta Chapekar and many group and creative choreographies.
The Kathak dancer states that Kuchipudi dancer Sreelakshmy Govardhanan is widely known for her grace, exquisite footwork and abhinaya (acting technique), which comes alive during her dance performances. “Sreelakshmy has been the recipient of many titles and honours such as ‘Kalashree’ from Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi- Kerala state award, Adithya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Puraskar, Silver conch from Keli, Best dancer from Madras Music Academy to name a few. A graded artiste of Doordarshan and empanelled artiste in ‘established’ category of ICCR, Sreelakshmy is the founder and artistic director of the Avantika Space for Dance, a centre for learning, performance and research.
Mukti Shri discloses that after the performance at Global Peace Auditorium, Hyderabad; the same will be showcased in Bangalore at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall on 19 June and will be taken to Mumbai and Delhi in September this year.