A legend in action

A legend in action

Celebratory Mode

A legend in action

Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj and his daughter and disciple Mamata Maharaj recently came together to celebrate and honour the legend’s 75th birthday in the City. The beautiful show, called Arpan, was organised by ‘Samam-Center for Movement and Dance’ and was held at the auditorium of Oxford College of Arts and Science.

The evening began with performances by the ‘Samam’ ensemble, which was led by Simran Godhwani. The team showcased various technical as well as lyrical aspects of the art form through its unique composition in kathak, which was beautifully integrated with a contemporary style. The dance pieces were successful in reflecting some of the most integral aspects of this dance form, which are teyyari, layakari and nazakat. The compositions were presented in jhaptaal, dhamar and teen taal.

This was followed Mamata Maharaj’s show. She enthralled the audience with her style and elegance. She presented a complex composition in dhamar taal. Saswati Sen, another disciple of the maestro, performed to a classic composition by Pandit Birju Maharaj. It was perhaps a magical moment for art lovers across the City when they witnessed Panditji himself taking to the stage. Mesmerised, the audience seemed to be enjoying every second of what they saw.

Sharada, who was there with her family, was spellbound and felt that it was one of the best shows she had attended. “Anyone who knows a little about dance would know about Pandit Birju Maharaj. Seeing him on stage was a dream-come-true for me. The show was spectacular from beginning till end and I hope that Panditji is able to perform more often in the City,” she says.

Amritha, who had come all the way from Basavangudi to see the show, was full of praises for the dancers. “It was a delight to see the legendary dancer on stage and the other groups were also incredibly talented. My favourite part of the show was when Mamata Maharaj presented a piece. She is extremely graceful and this is the first time that I am seeing her perform. However, what stole the show was Panditjis performance. The kind of stamina and energy that he has is extraordinary,” she says.

 Panditji was also felicitated later in the evening by one of his disciples, Murari Sharan Gupta. The evening also saw the book launch of Saswati Sen’s book.