Dancing to remember
In a tribute to Kathak legend Chitresh Das, an event on the weekend celebrates his style, choreography and dance
Chitresh Das, a Kathak legend was known for spreading the dance outside the country. He established Chhandan School of Kathak as early as 1979 and experimented with form, footwork and improvisation. He also innovated to create a style by the name, Kathak yoga, a form that has roots in the traditional dance form, but where the performer sings and plays an instrument at the same time. "It involves three different kinds of mathematical calculations to be done simultaneously and can be a meditative practice," says Prachi Wagh, teacher and head of marketing and communications at Chhandam Nritya Bharti.
Das passed away in 2015 and his students from around the world have since hosted several tributes. In its fourth edition, Remembering Chitresh will be a two-part evening of dance with a Kathak and Bharatanatyam piece recounting the life and times of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. "Pandit Das was working on a piece on Shivaji Maharaj that was left incomplete. So, we decided to host another performance on the same lines," Wagh explains. She also reveals that the performance, titled Shrimant Yogi by Vaibhav Arekar and Sankhya, is more than a chronological story retold. "It addresses the inner conflict and spirituality of Shivaji, and the concept of dharma while asking important questions."
The first half features performances by Seema Mehta from the Mumbai branch; Shefali Jain and Anjali Nath from the Boston branch of the school. While Mehta will present Das' signature choreography in the piece Har Har Mahadev, Jain and Nath will perform Trivat, a fast-paced kathak composition paying tribute to Das' mastery with footwork. "The piece I perform is an invocation of Shiva and the energy it carries is what I would like to remember our teacher for," says Mehta.
On December 21, 7 pm
At Royal Opera House, Mathew Road, Girgaum.
Log on to bookmyshow.com
Cost Rs 300 onwards
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