Dibrugarh-based Priyakshee Kataky, an experienced dancer and double Visharad in Sattriya Nritya, recently performed in Parichay Season 2, and won the hearts of Rasikas. Speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, Priyakshee Kataky, says that performing for Parichay was quite an experience because she has always wanted to share her craft to the world. “Such platform helps us to connect people and share the beauty of our culture that our two great Gurus – Srimanta Sankardeva, the founder of Sattriya Nritya and his favourite disciple Sri Sri Madhabdeva who has collectively contributed and worked for this art form,” she says.
A recipient of Centre for Cultural Resource and Training (CCRT) scholarship and Young Talented Artiste Award 2019-2020 from NEZCC in Sattriya Nritya under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Priyakshee has visited the City of Pearls way back in 2017 for a dance program organised by Muvva Nritya Raga Nigamam founder and Kuchipudi dancer Dr. Himabindu Kanoj. Recalling those moments, the Sattriya dancer says: “I participated in the India International Dance Festival held by Himabindu didi, which gave me an opportunity to spend wonderful three days in the city. To be precise, I really loved the hospitality of the people. It was a dance trip so I was blessed to meet artists, dance lovers from various places. It was so overwhelming to know the various cultures that each artist holds with respect and care,” says the artist from Assam.
Priyakshee, who has a knack of learning choreography quickly and excellent stage performance, reveals that she came in touch with Himabindu and Muvva team in 2015, and when she was invited to take part in Parichay, she immediately accepted it.
Speaking about her dance journey, Priyakshee says: “I stepped into this beautiful world of dance at the age of four. My parents mention that during my infant days, I would move my hands and watch them till I feel asleep. With this they decided I really loved dance and enrolled me in the Dibrugarh Sattriya Sanskritik Kendra, a dance and borgeet institution in Dibrugarh, Assam.” Priyakshee has learnt the Sattriya Nritya under illustrious gurus – Khireswar Hazarika, Minakhee Gogoi and Dr. Mallika Kandali.
Currently working as an assistant teacher with Guru Minakhee Gogoi, Priyakshee confesses that if she had not learnt the art form Sattriya, she would have learnt any dance form that would help her grow as a person. “Any form of art teaches us discipline, culture, build responsibility and most importantly to acquire knowledge about the tradition that we must follow,” she says.
A first-generation artist in the family, Priyakshee enjoys every performance and counts it as a blessing. “My first solo performance during Class 3 is and will always be special to me, I still remember people appreciating my performance and blessing me for my future success. I had played the role of Lord Krishna in Raas-Leela, which is one of the best memories that I hold in my heart,” she says. Also, the Sattriya artist adds that the camp organised by the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, New Delhi for scholarship holders where artists from various corners of the country from every art form – classical dance, classical music, folk dance and music, instrument, drama and so on are invited for a training programme in Guwahati is her first exceptional experience of experiencing other cultures.
Winner of innumerable awards in her journey of dance, Priyakshee wants to establish herself as a good dancer. “Also, I want to explore and gain knowledge on different cultures and traditions and spread my culture as well without harming its authenticity,” she says. The Sattriya artist loves the Hyderabad cuisine and has fond memories of a trip to the Ramoji Film City and looks forward to a visit and perform in the Nawabi city soon.