Raghav Raj Bhatt is a multifaceted artist, whose contributions to the field of art, culture and international relations are well-known. Raghav’s legacy of folk and tribal art came from his illustrious father, Janapada Kala Brahma Dr. Gopal Raj Bhatt and he has single-handedly taken the mandate of Bharat Folk Arts Academy founded by his father to the next level.
A national scholarship saw Raghav enter the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. He also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) Scholarship to further pursue his passion at the feet of The Living Legend, the Maestro, Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj. After successfully completing his Diploma and specialisation in Kathak from Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, Raghav’s hallmark became transcendental and subtle interplay between form, colour, and rhythm. His collaborative performances and teaching residencies in different countries have contributed immensely to international cultural relations and have presented the current evolution in Kathak art.
Some of these works are Paroksh experimental composition using two mediums, visual and performing arts. Samanvaya choreography presentation consisting three dance styles. A choreography with 40 Russian dancers with four classical forms i.e., Kathak, Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi in 23 cities of Russia. He represented India in several international festivals, including Festival of India in USSR, South East Asia, West Indies, Hungary, Singapore, Dubai, France, USA, Canada and Netherlands. He was also faculty at Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society, Singapore, for three years, promoting Indian Art and Culture for national celebrations in Singapore and has given lectures and demonstrations in many universities and training to numerous students. He was also a lecturer from 2010 to 2013 at JNCC, Moscow through the Ministry of External Affairs. His unique 360-degree approach to dance forms has taken Kathak, tribal and folk arts to the people.
Raghav has choreographed many dance ballets, dramas and contemporary recitals in India and abroad. He is an empanelled artiste of Doordarshan and the ICCR, New Delhi. He has organised and choreographed major cultural festivals for the Government of India, SNA, the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Government of Telangana for over three decades. He has also led the production unit of the repertoire wing of Kathak Kendra, New Delhi for over a decade. Notable productions have been tableaus of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. He also organised and choreographed the national festival to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dandi March in Gujarat.
Through the Hyderabad based Aakruti Kathak Kendra, along with his wife Mangala Bhatt, a disciple of Pandit Durga Lal Ji, Raghav has actively evangelised the primarily Northern Indian art form of Kathak in the Southern parts of the country. His unique talent of sketching has led him to combine two different media to communicate a unified message, that of the beauty, grace and inner calm that dance brings to the soul. A few powerful, free flowing strokes give shape to forms of beauty and symmetry. He created the one-of-a-kind sketches in minimal strokes conveying the maximum message, setting a hallmark of his own. The pulsating rhythm of his figures is rare style and has earned him rare reviews globally. Highlights of his sketching repertoire include inspirational line drawings titled Katha Rekha on themes of Kathak and other dance forms. His illustrations have been featured as dance notations for Ang Kavya, a book by Padma Vibhushan, Pandit Birju Maharaj. His sketches have also been featured in the book Dances of India and Sketches. He has been invited to participate in several festivals and occasions by the SNA to exhibit his talent in the special art of spontaneous sketching of dance and theatre forms. Raghav also did an exclusive 10-day sketching series on the modern dance maestro, Uday Shanker on invitation from the SNA. These sketches are on permanent display at the Archive Museum Ravindra Bhavan, SNA. Raghav has also brought the folk and tribal art forms of the North East into spotlight through his instant sketches at major festivals conducted by SNA, New Delhi.
Raghav’s major contributions include Festival of Hyderabad, 1993, 400-year-celebration, organiser, choreographer and performer where 14 days at 14 venues where 5000 artists performed. Choreographed All India Assembly Speakers Meet, 2001. Presented Ekta ki Awaz in 14 Indian languages to convey the unity and diversity of India. Opening Ceremony of Shilpkala Vedika, 2002, one of the largest auditoriums in India, inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri. N. Chandra Babu Naidu, where a Swagatam dance was choreographed in three classical forms Kathak, Kuchipudi and Odissi with 30 dancers. Dandi march, 2005, choreographed under the guidance of Shri. Sunil Dutt, the then Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs. First International Yoga Day, 2015, a 7-day exhibition, one-man show titled Yoga Chakra by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.
Raghav Raj Bhatt’s contribution has been highly appreciated and honoured many a times by the President, Prime Minister of India, Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, MPs, MLAs, VIPs, Critics, Art lovers, renowned Musicians, Dancers, Painters and Cultural Organizations.