It’s not just rock concerts and contemporary dance performances that can keep Mumbai’s young audiences enthralled. At the Kala Ghoda amphitheatre on Thursday evening, it was the drupads and taals of pure, classical Kathak.
The troupe performing was from the Pune-based Maneesha Nrityalaya Charitable Trust, founded by renowned Kathak exponent Maneesha Sathe in 1975. The torchbearer of Kathak maestro Natraj Gopi Krishna’s style, Sathe is known for her inclusive choreography that combines the classical along with folk and contemporary style.
“My parents shifted base from Pune to Mumbai to give me the best dance training, and I started my institute with the aim of spreading Kathak to the new generations,” said Sathe, who performed with 15 of her senior students on invitation from Kala Ghoda festival organisers.
The performance included a piece contrasting the masculine and feminine dance styles, and a tandav dance displaying Lord Shiva’s triumph over evil.
Sathe’s institute has three branches and hundreds of students in Pune, and has gained reputation as one of the most senior Kathak academies. “Being a charitable trust, we make sure that our proceeds go to non-profit organisations for various causes,” added Sathe, who has won several state awards for her choreography for Marathi films.