Dancer Arpita Banerjee brings her production, Kathak & Ghazal Night, to the city 

Award-winning dancer Arpita Banerjee and vocalist Dr Bidisha Hazra come together for baithak-style ghazal and Mughlia kathak

Srushti Kulkarni Published :  13th January 2023 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  13th January 2023 12:00 AM

Bidisha and Arpita

TO NARRATE THE story of how kathak and ghazal music have evolved through the ages, award-winning dancer Arpita Banerjee and vocalist Dr Bidisha Hazra come together for Kathak & Ghazal Night, a production that aims to revive the traditional baithak-style ghazal and Mughlia kathak. Ahead of their performance in the city, kathak exponent Arpita talks about what one can expect from the show. 

When asked about what inspired the show, the Nritya Shiromani awardee says, “When you flip through the pages of history, one can see that kathak started as a storytelling tradition. In the earlier days, Kathak was 
the name of a community of storytellers. It was only when the Mughals came into the picture that the art form was patronised.” 

Bidisha and Arpita were posted as Indian cultural ambassadors in Mauritius when they got the idea for this production. The show is divided into three segments. Arpita and her ensemble from Annadya Performing 
Arts will kick off the evening with four kathak presentations — Shiva stuti, bhajan, thumri and a solo performance by Arpita.

The second segment, will see Bidisha taking the audience through various forms of ghazals. Arpita will begin the third segment titled Kathak-e-Darbar with salami (salutations) before moving on to present gat, a performance involving intricate footwork, which evolved in the courts of the Mughal emperors.

The dancers will don traditional anarkalis for the choreography. “Before the Mughals came into the picture, lehenga-choli was the traditional kathak costume,” she says, adding, “Kathak-e-Darbar is a representation of what happened in the Mughal courts and we are performing in an open-air theatre to create a similar ambience,” the artiste shares. 

Besides the dances, one can also enjoy baithak-style ghazal and tarana (an amalgamation of Persian and Hindustani music). 

Rs 600. January 14, 6.30 pm. At Jinvara, Avalahalli.