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Spandan Centre encourages everyone to dance
- Vijay Shanker

June 5, 2022

It is quite amazing and gratifying to note the increasing popularity of the Kathak dance form, mainly due to the exuberant and exquisite portrayal of Kathak in movies like Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Devdas', Kamalahasan's 'Viswaroopam' and Satyajit Ray's 'Shatranj ke Khiladi' etc. Kathak has received a new impetus, hence children and the youth are quite attracted and fascinated by Kathak which is known for its rhythmic complexity and the spectacular spins and circular movements, which is considered the mainstay of this unique dance style, the most popular classical dance style of northern India.

Spandan Centre of Excellence Foundation, headed by Kathak exponent Lakshya Sharma organised the Kathakaar program at the YB Chavan Centre, Mumbai, on 7th May with the support from Digiflik and Om TV. It was quite exciting for the audience to watch little children from the age group of 4 years and above and senior citizens in the age group of 60 to 65 dancing with lot of enthusiasm, as a tribute to the Kathak maestro Pt Birju Maharaj. The program commenced with invocation to Lord Ganesha in Ganesha Vandana, followed by the most popular tala pattern, teentaal of 16 beats. In spite of being a little nervous, the little dancers were trying to do their best, as they were watched by their parents and relatives; dancing to a packed audience is a rare sight in a classical dance performance.

Spandan Centre

The master performer of the evening and the inspiration for the children to do well was their mentor Lakshya Sharma, who danced to precise execution of rhythmic patterns with effortless ease, along with well recorded music and brilliant lighting, making the experience enthralling. Lakshya as Lord Shiva in the 'Shiva Parvati' number and Krishna in 'Radha Krishna' performed well, revealing his complete involvement and devotion to the art form. Gautami as Parvati made a perfect duet with fine synchronization of movements, exploring the concept of Shiva and Shakti, the feminine and the masculine spirit that governs Indian classical dancing. Another poetic number "Niratata Shankar Parvati" exposed the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva and Parvati. 'Dagar' was performed by Vandana Bolar. As the naughty Krishna obstructs her way, she moves ahead to fetch a pot of water from the Yamuna river. Vandana performed with subtle expressions of pleasure and pretentious anger. "Mohe rang do laal" signified the Holi festival as Radha, Krishna and the gopis dance to gay abandon. In the solo number by Lakshya, he revealed his teyyari and command over layakari with the execution of complex rhythmic patterns.

Spandan Centre

Lakshya Sharma is one of the foremost disciples of Guru Vijayshree Chaudhary, senior disciple of Pt Birju Mahraj. Lakshya is the recipient of Nritya Ravi presented by spiritual mentor Sri Sri Ravishankar. He has performed for the BRICS summit in the presence of our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, participated in reality shows like Zee TV 'Dance with Me' season 2 and is the winner of 'Dance with Me' season 1. He has also danced for Faruk Kabir's movie '377 Abnormal'. A graded performer for Doordarshan, Lakshya is also dance director of Salaam Bombay Foundation which is an NGO for the upliftment of children..

Spandan Centre of Excellence Foundation takes pride in being a group of dancers starting their journeys from the tender age of four to veterans in their sixties, who defy all age norms with their utmost dedication towards the craft and are continually devoted to taking the dance form to greater heights.

Vijay Shankar is a Kuchipudi and Kathakali exponent, teacher, bilingual journalist, arts critic and actor.

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