Kalashram with the support from the Ministry of Culture, proudly organised the 26th Vasantotsava at Kamani auditorium on 3 and 4th February, as a mark of tribute to the legendary Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj with performances by several students from India and overseas as well. On this occasion the 1st Pt Birju Maharaj Samman will be bestowed on Tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain. This one of its kind festival will be a unique tribute to the great maestro who placed Kathak on the international map, thereby enhancing the position of Kathak as one of India’s distinct and pure classical dance form.
After the inauguration followed with the award function, a special tribute by Ustad Zakar Hussain, presentation by Swaransh Mishra with Ragini and Yashaswini Maharaj and the Man Bheetar performance. “Rachna Sarang” will feature the renowned Shovana Narayan, Vaswati Mishra, Mamata Maharaj. Sujata Banerjee, Maitreyee Pahari, Shinjini Kulkarni and Sandeep Mahavir.
The Afternoon session on 4th February will feature Kathak by Richa Jain, Kajal Sharma, Sushant and Durga Arya, commencing at 3pm. The evening performances will commence at 6pm featuring performances by dancers from Uttar Pradesh. Sreeja Mishra, Anuj Mishra and Vishal Krishna. The dancers from Maharashtra are Vidya Deshpande, Durgesh Gangani and Maneesha Sathe. Dancers from Bengal are Anju Bhattacharjee, Alokparna Guha and Ashim Bandhu Bhattacharya. Dancers
from New Delhi are Jai Kishan Maharaj group, Abhimanyu Lal, Krishna Mohan, Ram Mohan Maharaj and Deepak Maharaj.
Ardent disciple and renowned Kathak danseuse Saswati says “The amazing response and enthusiasm of all the dancers, junior and seniors, proves the point that the spirit of Guruji continues to be living and throbbing with all of us and we are indeed blessed to have learnt this divine art form from Guruji which will pass on for generations and the legacy will move forward”.