Celebrating Krishna with Kathak

Celebrating Krishna with Kathak

Indian classical dance lovers can look forward to a memorable evening with the ICCR presenting a Kathak recital by acclaimed dancer Jayant Kastuar.

Jayant, former Secretary and CEO, Sangeet Natak Akademi, will be presenting compositions based on Lord Krishna.  These have been carefully chosen from the treasure of devotional literature created over the centuries by various poets and saints of India. The programme will be held from 7 to 8 pm on August 24 at the Azad Bhavan.

Jayant, who now heads an organisation named after his guru Indramani Durgalal, represents a rare combination of excellence in classical art, academics and public service.

A graduate from St. Stephens, 1976 batch, Jayant before taking over as the secretary of Sangeet Natak Akademi, headed its dance department and also served as Director, Kathak Kendra.

His work and contribution in the fields of Kutiyattam and Kathakali of Kerala, Kuchipudi and other dance traditions of Andhra Pradesh, Odissi, Sattriya traditions of Assam and Chhau dances of Eastern India are widely recognised.

Jayant is known for his commanding performance as a soloist of the old school. He excels both in nritta or pure dance as well as in nritya and abhinaya, the expressional parts. His wide range of innovative gatnik as well as rende­r­ing of bhava to Hindustani thumris or compositions of other traditions are highly acclaimed.

Regarding his upcoming performance, Jayant says, “Kathak sources a lot of its kathas (stories) from the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu as described in Shrimad Bhagwat Katha.

“However, it gives us the largest and richest compositions in Krishna’s avatar. The reason being that the shringar and bhakti elements in Kathak can be depicted in Krishna’s playful life only.

This performance was slated for Janmashtmi, but was postponed for some reasons and will be presented now.” He continues, “After a long time, I will be performing in a group.
We will start with the guru of Surdas – Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya’s Nandakumar Ashtakam.

After rendering the first four lines of Nandakumar, the recital will develop into Krishna Nartan - the dance of Krishna, where I will give a solo performance.

“The second part of the show will see us presenting Braj ki holi - a composition by Padmashri Bindhya Basini Devi – one of the most well-known poetesses from Bihar.
Plans are also afoot to present Borgeet – a composition of Shrimant Shankar Deva- the revered saint of Assam, and one by Meera as well.

“Even though Janmashtmi festivities are over,  I hope Krishna lovers find time to visit my recital and enjoy it to the fullest.” We hope so too.

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