Dancing in honour of guruji

The Guru-Shishya Parampara in various forms of performing arts in India continues to get stronger year after year. Every year, Kathak exponent Uma Dogra organises the Pandit Durga Lal Festival in memory of her guru. This time, for the 23rd edition of the festival, Bharatanatyam dancer Rama Vaidyanathan and Odissi dancer Sujata Mohapatra will perform in Mumbai at the Nehru Centre on February 13. The first-leg of the event, however, kicks-off in Bhopal today with a Kathak performance by members of the Jaipur Gharana.

“I will be performing a piece from the Ramayana — Sita-haran and Jatai moksha,” says Mohapatra, adding, “For those who follow the guru-shishya parampara, a guru is revered like no other. They lead and bless us with their knowledge and guidance. It reflects in our dance,” says Mohapatra, who will also perform a Tarana, set by Pandit Biru Maharaj on RagaBhairavi.

Dogra, who runs the Samved Society for Performing Arts that was set up in the memory and honour of Pandit Durga Lal Maharaj in 1990, says performing in and organising a festival are very different from each other. “And since I am organising this event, I will not be performing this year. I have done four shows already this season,” she explains.

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