|THE KATHAK KENDRA|
National Institute of Kathak Dance
(Constituent Unit of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi)
Kathak Kendra, the National Institute of Kathak Dance, is a premier Dance institution of the country, dedicated to promoting the practice, development and awareness of Kathak Dance as an artistic skill, as well as a component of the rich classical heritage of the nation.
Kendra's main objective is to offer a course of training in Kathak Dance to create, skilled performers of the art who are also the next generation of learned Guru-s, Choreographers and above all, intelligent advocates of the artform. A talented and dedicated team of Guru-s forms the strong pillar of training at the Kathak Kendra.
Since its very inception, the students of the Kendra have been fortunate to have some of the legendary Masters as their Guru. Stalwarts such as Pandits Lachchhu Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj, Sunder Prasad, Kundanlal Gangani, Mohan Rao Kalyanpurkar, Birju Maharaj, Durga Lal, Munna Shukla and Vidushi-s like Reba Vidyarthi, Urmila Nagar, Kumudini Lakhia, Siddeshwari Devi and Naina Devi have taught here. At present Shri Krishan Mohan Mishra, Shri Rajendra Kumar Gangani, Shri Jai Kishan Maharaj, Sushri Prerana Shrimali, Smt. Malti Shyam, Shri Nirmal Mondal and Shri Ravi Shankar Upadhyay are faculty members of Kathak Kendra.
At the Kendra, a classical tradition is seen as a constantly evolving body of practices, attitudes, beliefs, skills and arts. Through its yearly programme of seminars, workshops and lecture demonstrations, the Kendra endeavours to keep alive the dialogue and debate to foster this spirit of growth, diversity and evolution. The Repertory Wing of the Kendra strives to uphold the classical repertoire while constantly extending its boundaries to include a contemporary sensitivity.
The Kendra offers two main streams of training in Kathak dance – the Elementary and the Advance. The Elementary section consists of 5 Year Foundation Course and 3 Year Diploma (Pass) Course. The Advance level includes a 3 Year Diploma (Hons.) Course and a 2 Year Post Diploma Course.
The Elementary course offers a basic familiarity and training in the various aspects of Kathak Dance and helps the young learner discover the art form while slowly imbibing its nuances as well as the cultural milieu associated with it. Those who wish to study Kathak at a more serious level with a view to take it further to a professional level, have the opportunity to join the Advance course.
With a view to help carve a complete artiste, the Advanced course offers an in-depth training in the performance aspect of the art form, complimented by study of and training in various interrelated disciplines. A carefully designed curriculum includes training in Hindustani Vocal music, Tabla or Pakhawaj, Yoga and a theoretical understanding of the art form besides a thorough training in the Dance. The students of Diploma (Hons.) and Post Diploma Courses in Kathak Kendra are able to immerse themselves in a busy daily routine of Dance, Music, Yoga, Theory, as well as a discipline of self practice and inner reflection.
Since the Kendra is a Constituent Unit of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, its management vests in the Executive Board of the Akademi which is assisted by an Advisory Committee and the Director of the Kendra. Smt. Shanta Serbjeet Singh, Vice-chairman, Sangeet Natak Akademi is presently the Chairman of Advisory Committee, Kathak Kendra and Sushmita Ghosh is presently the Director of the Kathak Kendra.