Danseuse Rachana Yadav: My Kathak isn’t traditional, it has a contemporary language
Rachana Yadav, a Gurgaon-based Kathak dancer, premiered her production, Trishanku, at Kamani auditorium, recently.art and culture Updated: Apr 21, 2017 16:23 IST
Kathak danseuse Rachana Yadav might have responded to her true calling — her passion for dance — at the age of 30, but she believes that the soul never ages.
“Like most classical dancers, I didn’t start dancing as a kid. My mother, author Mannu Bhandari, was keen on it, but I gave up in a year’s time, as I was more interested in sports. Coincidentally, I saw a performance by dancer, and now my guru, Aditi Mangaldas at the age of 30 and decided to go for it. My Kathak isn’t traditional as I’ve given it a contemporary outlook that I’ve learnt from my guru. I don’t break the grammar, but I present it in a contemporary language,” says Yadav, who has been a repertory member of The Drishtikon Dance Foundation: Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company with whom she has performed in various festivals, nationally and internationally.
Her latest production, Trishanku, inspired by her mother’s short story Trishanku, earned much recognition in the Capital. The music for it was given by The Gundecha Brothers and Samiullah Khan. “Trishanku was a mythological character in Mahabharat, who was stuck between hell and heaven. My mother’s story, titled Trishanku, uses this as a metaphor for all those teenagers, who find themselves torn between their past and future. The narrative shares my experience with my mother. I’ve translated that into a dance recital.”
Various compositions and frames, give birth to her choreography, shares the Kathak dancer, whose previous production was called Swaraah. “A basic idea comes into my head, which I mull over. I find a peg, and I begin to build my performance around it. I use a lot of recitations that I write myself, as it lends clarity to my choreography,”says Yadav, an alumnus of Hindu College, DU. Having previously dabbled in advertising,interior designing, she is an MD of a literary magazine and runs a Kathak Studio in Gurgaon, having trained over 200 students in the age group of 5 to 55-year-old.
The danseuse feels that the cultural scenario of the Millennium City can be more vibrant. “Epicentre was there, but now it’s shut; whereas Mandi House is buzzing with activity. Something or the other keeps happening at the Shri Ram Centre and at Kamani. That isn’t the case with Gurgaon,” says Yadav, who runs a Kathak studio in Gurgaon.