Rajib: Honour Kathak’s Rich Heritage

Kathak dancer Rajib Ghosh, who hails from Kolkata, West Bengal, has learnt dance under illustrious Gurus – Dr. Sucharita Dutta Ghata, Pt. Rajendra Gangani ji and Souvik Chakraborty ji, and attended workshops of renowned Kathak artists like – Padma Vibhushan Pt. Birju Maharaj ji, Smt. Saswati Sen ji, Prof. Amita Dutta ji, and many others, speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, advices young enthusiasts to learn Kathak with Passion & Practice, Respect Tradition, Express Yourself, Stay Open, Confidence & Resilience, Community & Collaboration, Balance & Self-Care.

Delving in depth to his advice to young enthusiasts, Rajib asks Kathak learners to embrace Kathak with passion and practice diligently as it is dedication that nurtures talent. “Honour Kathak’s rich heritage and embrace the guru-shishya parampara, a sacred tradition in which knowledge and wisdom are passed down from teacher to student. Kathak is not just about steps; it’s about storytelling through movement. Let your emotions flow,” he says.

Advice To Youngsters: He asks the youngsters to be open to different styles and interpretations. “Explore and innovate while staying rooted in tradition. Believe in yourself, on and off the stage. Dance with confidence and bounce back from setbacks. Build connections with fellow dancers and artists. Collaborate and grow together,” says the Kathak dancer. Rajib says: “Prioritise your well-being. Find balance between dance and life, and take care of yourself mentally and physically. With these principles in mind, your Kathak journey will be as fulfilling as it is rewarding.”

A B.A. and M.A. in Kathak dance from Rabindra Bharati University, Rajib Ghosh, embarked on his dance journey at the age of 14. “I was entranced by the world of dance, compelled by an undeniable urge to immerse myself in its captivating realm. It was a moment of epiphany, sparked by the sheer thrill of witnessing performers weave magic on stage. Each dance program I attended fuelled my passion further, igniting a desire to become one among those who could express themselves so eloquently through movement,” he says. 

Celebration Of Life: Growing up in Bengal, amidst a culture steeped in artistic traditions, only deepened Rajib’s fascination with dance. “Surrounded by individuals with profound knowledge and appreciation for various art forms, I found myself enveloped in an environment that celebrated creativity and expression. The vibrancy of Bengali culture served as a constant well-spring of inspiration, propelling me towards my dreams of becoming a dancer,” says the dancer, and adds that his dance journey is not just a pursuit of artistry but a celebration of life itself—a testament to the power of passion and the beauty of following one’s heart.

Learning under the tutelage of various revered gurus from distinct Gharanas has been an immensely enriching journey for Rajib as a Kathak dancer. “Each guru, including the esteemed Pandit Rajendra Kumar Gangani ji from the Jaipur Gharana, and the esteemed Dr. Sucharita Dutta and Sri Souvik Chakraborty from the Lucknow Gharana, has bestowed upon me their invaluable knowledge, unique perspective, and refined artistic nuances. Their guidance has not only broadened my horizons but has also deepened my appreciation for the rich heritage of Kathak,” he says.

Learning From Gurus: From the Jaipur Gharana, the Kathak dancer imbibed the intricacies of footwork, dynamic movements, and the relentless pursuit of precision. “Under the guidance of Pandit Rajendra Kumar Gangani ji, I cultivated a disciplined approach and attained mastery over complex rhythmic patterns. Conversely, under the mentorship of Dr. Sucharita Dutta and Sri Souvik Chakraborty, luminaries of the Lucknow Gharana, I delved into the subtleties of abhinaya (expressional dance), the art of storytelling, and the embodiment of grace in motion. Their emphasis on emotive expressions and lyrical finesse has infused a profound depth and sensitivity into my performances.”

Rajib states that the teachings and stylistic nuances may vary between Gharanas, the intrinsic essence of Kathak—its grace, expressiveness, and spiritual resonance—remains steadfast. “I am profoundly grateful for the privilege of imbibing the wisdom of these esteemed gurus, as their teachings have not only refined my technique but have also enriched my artistic expression, allowing me to seamlessly integrate the essence of both Gharanas into my performances,” the dancer says.

A recipient of Senior National Scholarship in the field of Kathak Dance, under the Ministry of Culture, Govt of India, and Graded artist of Doordarshan Kendra (Kolkata), Rajib had the privilege of performing Kathak in various venues and settings, ranging from traditional auditoriums to cultural festivals, educational institutions, community events, and even intimate gatherings. “These performances have taken me to diverse locations, including local theatres, national dance festivals, temples, schools, and public squares. Each performance venue has offered its own unique atmosphere and audience, contributing to my growth and experiences as a Kathak dancer,” he mentions.

World Record Holder: Rajib, a participant in the World Record ‘Shivaargya’, organised by the Delhi-based Ganesa Natyalaya, founded by Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan, says that participating in the program on International Dance Day, in Hyderabad, was an experience that deeply resonated with him on both a personal and professional level. “As a Kathak dancer, this day holds special significance as it provides a platform to not only showcase our artistry but also to celebrate the universal language of dance with fellow artists and enthusiasts. One of the most cherished aspects of the event was the opportunity to perform alongside my students, who are not just learners but individuals with whom I share a special bond,” he says.

The Kolkata-based dancer also says: “The Hyderabad event served as a melting pot of artistic talent, drawing eminent dance personalities from diverse backgrounds and styles. Interacting with these luminaries was a humbling experience, as their wisdom and passion for dance resonated deeply with me. Engaging in conversations, exchanging ideas, and receiving their encouragement was not only inspiring but also served as a source of motivation to continually strive for excellence in my craft.”

Celebration Of Dance: Further Rajib says that in essence, the program in Hyderabad was more than just a celebration of dance; it was a testament to the transformative power of artistic expression, the strength of community, and the enduring legacy of cultural heritage. “It left an indelible mark on my journey as a Kathak dancer, reminding me of the profound impact that dance has on our lives and the world around us. I express my sincere gratitude to the Director of Kandula Kuchipudi Natyalayam, who is a close friend of mine and who gave me an opportunity to perform at the festival,” he says.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap