Danseuse Madhu Natraj celebrates kathak through a day-long conference
Every year for Basant Panchami, the first day of spring, danseuse Madhu Natraj hosts a grand celebration at the Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography in Malleswaram — a tradition that was started by her mother, guru Maya Rao and the legendary composer Anil Biswas at the institute 55 years ago. But this year, the director of Natya and Stem Dance Kampni is doing something different. Madhu hosts the Dr Maya Rao Kathak and Choreography Conference.
The day-long event includes talks, discussions, performances and a film screening on the legendary dancer. Talking about celebrating the tradition differently, Madhu explains, “Usually one just watches a performance or listens to a talk. But this time, we have programmed lecture demonstrations and panel discussions with dance presentations. It’s curated in a manner that will appeal to a young student of dance, a guru and to a complete newbie. It’s a mix of accessibility and engagement,” she explains.
The event begins with a film on Dr Maya Rao and a presentation of her vintage choreography by the Natya and Stem Dance Kampni. Some of the highlights are the performances The Nayika and the Snowflake: Kathak Expressions with Maya Didi by artiste Deepti Gupta and Rhapsody — A Resonance in Kathak. “Deepti’s piece explores abhinaya through the heroine, while Rhapsody was our new production created for SG Vasudev’s retrospective show and we will be presenting an excerpt from this work,” sums up Madhu.
Entry free. February 17, 10.30 am. At Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Race Course Road