I am wedded to kathak

Published on Jan 22, 2006 12:51 AM IST

"I am wedded to kathak and this is as real as the perfect relationship shared by Lord Shiva and Parvati who found each other in every rebirth," said Kathak exponent Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj here on Saturday. Kathak maestro who was in the city to attend a function organised by Kathak Kendra said this relationship would last forever. The affair started at the tender age of five is continuing even at the age of 67 years, but there are no complaints. According to this veteran artiste, the things are changing fast and so he has stepped forward .

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None | ByPadmini Singh, Allahabad

"I am wedded to kathak and this is as real as the perfect relationship shared by Lord Shiva and Parvati who found each other in every rebirth," said Kathak exponent Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj here on Saturday.

Kathak maestro who was in the city to attend a function organised by Kathak Kendra said this relationship would last forever. The affair started at the tender age of five is continuing even at the age of 67 years, but there are no complaints.

According to this veteran artiste, the things are changing fast and so he has stepped forward to herald some alterations with subtlety.

"It should not be considered to be the art which could be discerned only by the known connoisseurs.

Thus in order to bring the art more closer to common man, I have started using the themes which are related to social issues such as 'File vyatha' which speaks about the hardships of people when they apply for a job. I have also worked on the story of Romeo-Juliet," he said. Pandit Birju Maharaj feels that Kathak which is synonymous to dedication never asks for shortcuts.

"Patience is the most important quality required to learn this art. Out of my 500 disciples, even if five do a tremendously outstanding job, then it is the best reward for me," he added.

He strongly feels that the urge to learn this art is god-gifted and the rest depends on one's sincerity.

Describing Kathak, he said, it is the essence of inner beauty. "Ang-bhang is what I call the dance shows which are recently being dished out by various television channels. It is the most crucial time when we need to put a stop to it else the new generation will find it hard to retrace its step and forget its roots," said the Kathak exponent.

He expressed his discontent towards the attitude of the organisers who are ready to reward the participants in lakhs for such shows instead of promoting even a single show which is based on pure classical dances.

"The tradition of Kathak is continuous. The guru teaches his disciples and they in turn pass the details to others. In this regard, I would like to mention that my entire family is dedicated to this art including my daughter," he said.

Pandit Birju Maharaj is proud of few of his renowned disciples who belong to other countries and show extreme affinity towards this art.

"I have dedicated my entire life to Kathak and now children should be encouraged to take up this art which is as pure as worship," he said.

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