Madhu Natraj Kiran leads the kathak
brigade in honour
of Maya Rao
They lost their guru and Ma, Maya Rao last year, but that has driven the team at Natya and STEM Dance Kampni to do better. Tonight, you will be treated to Kathak Through The Ages, what Rao’s daughter and current director of the dance institute, Madhu Natraj Kiran calls her late mother’s swan song. “It premiered a month before she passed on and has become one of our favourite works,” begins Natraj. “Kathak travels, and we’ve tried to bring about that aspect of the dance in this performance. From the costumes and music to the multimedia, it will be spectacular,” she tells us, adding that you must keep your eye out for the miniature paintings that form the backdrop and are inspired by the earliest civilisations. “Kathak went from temples to courts and to the common man. Even the Spanish flamenco has it roots in kathak,” shares the danseuse, referring to the quick pirouettes and movements linking the two dances.
Following this, the annual showcase of the students of the Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography rechristened Maya Arpan from just Arpan will take place on July 18 and 19. This event will see 140 students, from the ages of 6 to 47, take the stage. This time, there will be two shows of the same performances. Continuing the legacy of training and performance, the show will reflect the beliefs of Rao, which were to blend tradition and modernity. “Balancing our traditional taalim (learning) with the evolving dimensions in the realm of dance, we will aim to bring back the lyrical quality of the dance form, and not just glide through the virtuoso aspect of it,” she signs off.
At KEA Ragamandira, Kamala Nagar. Details: 9886854604
— Aakanksha Devi