Marking an extraordinary milestone, the 30th annual Kathak Festival is set to captivate audiences over three days, commencing on August 26th. Centered around the theme “Dhyas” (meditation), this year’s festival is a jubilant celebration of the visionary “Darwazi” dance style, introduced by the legendary Pandit Gopikrishna.
Initiated in 1994 by cultural luminary Smt. Rekha Nadgauda, the Kathak Festival has a distinctive purpose: to shine a spotlight on this unique dance form, breathe new life into traditional expressions, and preserve the sacred guru-disciple legacy. It’s a melding of tradition and innovation that reflects the dynamic and ever-evolving dance landscape.
Day One: Inauguration and Tribute to Legacy
The festival’s inauguration on August 26th is a visual treat, featuring a solo performance by the talented Avinav Mukherjee and a duet by Shruti Deodhar and Mrudula Tare from Kirti Kala Mandir. These carefully curated performances honor Pandit Nataraj Gopikrishna’s legacy, embodying the theme of “Dhyas.” Avinav Mukherjee, nurtured under the guidance of Smt. Geetanjali Lal for 14 years, holds distinctions such as Doordarshan’s prestigious “A” category artist award. The duet by Shruti Devdhar and Mrudula Tare, trained by Aditi Panse, has been acknowledged with the National Merit Scholarship for their passionate dedication.
Day Two: Homage to Pandita Rohini Bhate and Vibrant Performances
The festivities continue on August 27th at Aurangabad Sabha Gruha. The second day is dedicated to paying homage to Pandita Rohini Bhate’s remarkable contributions to the field. This segment includes a moving documentary and a demonstration by her senior disciple Nilima Adhye. The festival goes beyond mere entertainment, echoing Rohini’s principles of diligent practice and artistic commitment. Dr. Tina Tambe’s solo presentation and the Kirti Mandir ensemble’s rendition of “The Kalā Vibrance 2011” are other highlights. Dr. Tambe’s journey weaves together ‘Alankar’ and Ph.D. degrees, fusing various gharana styles from Lucknow, Jaipur, and Raigarh.
Central Concept: ‘The Vibrance’ by Rekha Nadgauda
At the heart of the festival, ‘The Vibrance’ emerges as a concept and dance direction reflecting Rekha Nadgauda’s enthusiasm for artistic consciousness. Portrayed with grace and energy by Kirti Kala Mandir dancers, it symbolizes a pulsating connection to tradition and innovation.
With a rich tapestry of performances, tributes, and reflections on the heritage of Kathak, the 30th Kathak Festival promises to be a unique experience for dance enthusiasts. It is a vibrant testimony to the timelessness and resilience of a dance form that continues to inspire, thrive, and innovate. Join the celebration and be part of a living legacy.