Kichkila , a village of Kathak legends situated in Handia on Allahabad-Varanasi highway, is soon to get special recognition for producing world famous classical Kathak dancers and classical instrument players.
UP cultural department plans to survey the village after learning of its contribution to Indian classical dance and music since the Mughal period. The objective is to develop the village as a ‘’Kathak Kendra’’ in the state and make people aware about its historical importance.
Eminent classical dancer and director of Kathak Kendra, Allahabad, Urmila Sharma had recently met senior officials of UP cultural department in this regard in Lucknow and apprised them about the village’s prominence and dominance. Her efforts led to the department’s decision.
“The authorities have assured that they will conduct an official survey of the village after they were told about its significance,” Sharma told HT.
“The significance of the village can be gauged from the fact that exponents of classical Kathak like Lacchu Maharaj, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Nritya Samragyini Sitara Devi and tabla maestro Kishan Maharaj all are connected with this village in one way or another as their ancestors belonged to this place,” said Sharma.
According to her, the inhabitants of Kichkila village had built a ‘’Kathak Smarak’’ a few years ago to commemorate the contribution of Kathak legends.
“This Kathak Smarak is not just a construction for the village people. It has special meaning for them. Their feelings and emotions are attached with it. They worship it at all the special occasions be it marriage or any religious festival,” she added. Famous Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan had also recently visited the village.
Director of North Central Zone Cultural Centre (NCZCC) Gaurav Krishna Bansal said Kichkila village had been the centre of Kathak and Indian classical music in ancient times.
He said the NCZCC would initiate appropriate steps to explore the future of classical dance, folk art and music in the vicinity. “Soon a survey will be carried out in the village and the areas surrounding it so that a proposal could be sent to cultural ministry to develop them,” he added.
NCZCC plans documentary on village
The history of famous Kichkila village will be documented in a digitalised form.
The North Central Zone Cultural Centre (NCZCC) is now mulling a documentary on the village to let the country know about its role in nurturing and preserving Indian classical music since Mughal period. The documentary will also have information about the village’s contribution in popularizing Indian folk art also since ages.
“Kichkila village has played a dominating role in preserving and promoting Indian classical music for the past many centuries. It is also said that that the village and its surrounding areas also had patronised the folk art and music. Hence, owing to these special features, now we are planning to make a documentary over it,” said director, NCZCC Gaurav Krishna Bansal while talking to Hindustan Times.
“However, before starting with documentary, the NCZCC will carry out a survey of the entire area with a team of experts to collect evidences and facts in this connection. The survey will begin soon,” said Bansal. NCZCC alsong with Kathak Kendra, Allahabad is also organising a five-day Handia Maati Mahotsav here for the past four years. “Soon a letter to the union ministry of culture will be written in order to get the approval for carrying out a survey and making the documentary,” said Bansal.