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Monday, 19 September 2016

Dhwani: Re-establishing the Cult of Kathak

Few people have their heads in the clouds, while there are few who foresee the potential of dreams and put their heart and soul to accomplish them. In 1984 Vaswati Misra, an exponent of Kathak, choreographer, and teacher embarked on the journey to re-establish the cult of Kathak and take it back to its glorious pedestal.
Kathak for her was never a fling but eternal devotion. The sight of her elder sister, Saswati performing Kathak, triggered in her the desire to learn and explore the art form. The bond became stronger when she met and married, Krishna Mohan Misra, the eldest son of Kathak maestro Pandit Shambhu Maharaj and cousin of Pandit Birju Maharaj.
She combined her passion for performance and education to set up an Arts Education Centre, Pandit Shambhu Maharaj Kathak Academy as the educational wing of Dhwani. Receiving recognition from the Government of India, in the form of a salary grant she was finally able to maintain a repertory on a permanent basis.
To ensure that the Indian Performing Arts reach the grassroots level, which is bereaved of the acknowledgment it should have received long ago. Also, she implemented a planned methodology of teaching to alleviate the distress of students who are expected to erase what’s taught earlier and start afresh with the change of Guru. Her choreography based upon ‘dance grammar’ and ‘improvisation’ presents an extremely traditional form of dance in new and exciting ways.
Everybody, irrespective of age, experience, preference or background, is welcome to enrol for General and Certificate Courses of Kathak and Hindustani Classical Music. Also, there are vocational and arts education programs for the less privileged. Live music is an added USP for classical dancers.
Dhwani doesn’t pressurize the students by setting benchmarks, but encourage them to follow their love for dance and work hard to achieve their destination without surrendering to fate. It involves the students and parents alike so that they feel equal passion for arts. Ultimately, the dots get connected and alas! We get a prodigy of artistes.
Being able to make a change and introduce the plurality of culture to our own children will be the accomplishment for the institute.
Situated at Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi

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