‘Sanchit – Celebrating Solo’ – A Unique Kathak Festival Concluded with Charm and Elegance!

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Pune, February 6, 2024: To commemorate 38 years of the establishment of ‘Nad-Roop’ by Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Winner and celebrated Kathak Guru Shama Bhate, a three-day unique solo Kathak Festival ‘Sanchit’ was inaugurated in the city recently. The official inauguration concluded in the presence of Uma Dogra, a well-known Kathak dancer of the Jaipur Gharana and the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of Kathak Kendra Delhi. This three-day festival was organized at the MES Auditorium, Balshikshan Mandir, Mayur Colony.

Dignitaries like Padmashri Taalyogi Pt. Suresh Talwalkar, a veteran singer of the Kirana Gharana; Pt. Ajay Pohankar, renowned Tabla player; Pt. Ramdas Palsule, Historian and Art Critic; Ashish Mohan Khokar along with renowned Dance and Music Scholar & Linguist; Manjari Sinha were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Uma Dogra said, “I think that the name ‘Sanchit’ is associated with spirituality. Every great artist is born with ‘Sanchit’ karma. What a disciple has gained by being in the company of the Guru and what a Guru has taught his disciple is their ‘Sanchit.’ The ‘Guru-Disciple’ tradition, their relationship and love for each other is expected from both sides.”

“I have personally witnessed Shama Tai’s journey from a student, to a disciple, to a teacher, and then to a guru since 1970. I have also seen many of her students transform into wonderful artists. I can imagine, how much effort it takes for all this. Today, when her disciples are taking her tradition forward, I am sure that Shama Tai must be feeling relieved,” expressed Padmashri Taalyogi Pt. Suresh Talwalkar.

Speaking about the festival, Guru Shama Bhate said, “38 years is a long period, and I am blessed to have been able to train five generations of dancers. No other private institute has created so many solo dancers as ‘Nad-Roop’. To mark such an auspicious occasion, we wanted a memorable celebration and thus this three-day festival focusing on Solo performances ‘Sanchit’ was conceptualized. The festival does not have any particular theme as each of the dancers will present her distinctive strength and expression in her Solo. Kathak began as a solo dance form but with time, choreographic presentations came to be preferred. But I believe that the true essence of Kathak lies in the solo format, and hence my effort has always been to hone and develop individual Kathak dancers, bringing out their distinctive aspects. I am proud that each of my girls has blossomed into an accomplished solo dancer in her own right.”

The first day of the festival witnessed a magical trio performance of Isha Nanal, Shraddha Mukhade, and Shreya Kulkarni, followed by a charismatic solo performance of Shivani Karmarkar and Mukti Shri. Avani Gadre, succeeded by Leena Ketkar and Sheetal Kolwalkar enthralled the audience with their captivating solo dances on the second day of the festival.

Day three commenced with Ameera Patankar, followed by a wonderful duet by Shrikala Joshi and Sheetal Kapole. The festival concluded with mesmerizing performances by Ketaki Shah and Manasi Deshpande.

Along with the dance recitals by disciples of Shama Bhate, the three-day festival also brought together everyone who has been associated with ‘Nad-Roop’ since its inception. A gathering of sorts of alumni, students, accompanists to instrumentalists was also held.

Gauri Lagoo played the moderator for the event.