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Master danseuse

It is indeed rare that a dedicated student, having excelled in commerce, having earned her MCom and ICWA degrees, opts to professionally take up Indian classical dance, kathak.

chandigarh Updated: Oct 02, 2012 11:37 IST
SD Sharma

It is indeed rare that a dedicated student, having excelled in commerce, having earned her MCom and ICWA degrees, opts to professionally take up Indian classical dance, kathak.

Vidhi Nagar’s passion for dance made her complete her masters degree in kathak from Bhatkhande Music University and doctorate from Khairagarh University.

All along, she had been learning and teaching before joining the Benaras Hindu University as an assistant professor. Meanwhile, she authored four books on kathak — Kathak Nartan Part One and Part Two, Kathak of Lucknow Ghrana and Indian Classical Dances.

Technically versatile and immaculately proficient in her expertise, Vidhi has specialised in the Bhava elements of kathak. Since the past few years, she has been involved in reviving the Baithiki style of traditional kathak, thus innovating to go back to the roots of the dance form’s styles. An A-grade artiste of Doordarshan and empanelled artiste of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Vidhi Nagar was in Chandigarh on the invitation of ICCR for a performance at the Pracheen Kala Kendra auditorium, Sector 35, on Monday.

Sharing her views on dance forms and gharanas, she said, “As the principles of Indian aesthetics are not limited and all categories and all dance forms are legitimate — be it bhartnatyam, kathak or any other form — each exudes its own aura, with spirituality as the common factor.”

“For instance, if the Jaipur gharana is known for its purity and perfection (teyyari) and the Lucknow gharana is attributed to aesthetics (saundriya), the Benaras gharana, to which I hold my allegiance now, draws inspiration from both, but more from the old Jaipur tradition,” she added.

The role of a guru in making an artiste is always supreme, to which she shared, “I owe my career to late Subhash Dixit and professor Purnima Pande, ex-vice chancellor, Bhatkhande Music Institute (Deemed University), Lucknow and Khairagarh Vishwavidyalaya. But any art form is a life time learning process.”

Concluding with the future of classical music and dance, she said, “Benaras, as you know, can be called the capital of classical arts. Youngsters are turning to this realm in large numbers and I feel the future of classical music and dance is secure.”