Two classical dance stalwarts — Gauri Sharma Tripathi and Nandita Puri — performed at Cross Maidan on the final day of the HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, on Sunday.
“Gauri is from the Lucknow gharana and I am from the Jaipur gharana. We decided to come together and perform a dance so beautiful, innovative and graceful that people in the audience would never again say that classical dance is boring,” said Puri.
“We both come from a guru-shishya parampara where there is discipline, bhakti [devotion] and shraddha [faith]. Our performance is an amalgamation of the old and the new, where we not only learn from our gurus but also inspire the younger generation and evolve with them,” added Tripathi.
The performance was, accordingly, a marriage of the traditional and the modern. A packed audience applauded Puri’s spins and Tripathi’s footwork.
“I deliberately chose two gharanas of the same language of Kathak to have the audience understand that diksha or divine enlightenment urges each disciple to find their true self through individual pathways, channelised by their respective mentors,” said Lata Surendra, curator of the dance section of the festival.
The audience responded exactly as planned, with enthusiasm and admiration. “I have studied classical dance for 13 years, so I know something of how difficult it is to do what they did. The two maestros were just outstanding,” said Arpita Banerjee, 26, a theatre artiste from Andheri.