The just lately launched biography of the guru and performer highlights the guru’s efforts to develop an institutional pedagogy for the dance type

The just lately launched biography highlights the guru’s efforts to develop an institutional pedagogy for the dance type

A collaborative work by Shama Bhate, Arshiya Sethi and Shilpa Bhide, Non-Gharanedaar Pt Mohanrao Kallianpurkar: The Paviour of Kathak (Sterling Publishers) is a compelling biography that balances a lucid and interesting story with in-depth analysis of the Kathak guru’s oeuvre. The biography data his contribution to the sector, reclaiming the story from the shadows and marking it as a historic trajectory that witnessed the emergence of one of many pioneering non-gharanedaar Kathak artistes.

Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar.

Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

While the icons of varied gharanas have been insiders to wealthy oral and anecdotal legacies, as an artiste who did not belong to a direct bloodline of Kathak performers and gurus, Mohanrao did not have that benefit. The e-book addresses this hole by chronicling his life, contribution to Kathak, and his views on Kathak coaching. The e-book traces his life from his delivery in south India, to his eager curiosity in a classical dance type of north India, his rigorous coaching with gurus and his outstanding contribution to the shape.

The prologue opens with an absorbing anecdote from 1962, the 12 months when the maestro acquired the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, which by the way acquired exchanged with the award of one other recipient — Pt. Ravi Shankar. Until then, solely three Kathak artistes had acquired the award and all belonged to both the Jaipur or Lucknow gharanas. Mohanrao turned the primary non-gharanedaar Kathak artiste to obtain the award.

Unique perspective

Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar.

Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The maestro had skilled with gurus of each the gharanas — Pt. Sundar Prasad of the Jaipur gharana, Pt. Bindadin Maharaj and Pt. Shambhu Maharaj of the Lucknow gharana. He learnt the intricacies of each the gharanas, enabling him to type a distinctive perspective on Kathak throughout gharanas.

The book on Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar, which was released recently.

The e-book on Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar, which was launched just lately.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The e-book additionally contains his writings about his gurus and insights into nritta methods together with the syllabus he created for Marris College of Music, Lucknow. This was the primary syllabus of Kathak developed for a college and have become the blueprint for Kathak syllabi throughout a number of universities together with the M.S. University, Vadodara, Banaras Hindu University, Khairagarh University, and Hyderabad University.

Developing institutional pedagogy stays certainly one of his prime contributions to Kathak coaching. There are many different elements of his artwork that have been unparalleled, however remained unacknowledged. His life traversed the transition from colonial to post-colonial occasions and whereas he was grounded in conventional information, he was open-minded and receptive. This set him aside in some ways. He was among the many first classical dance gurus to work with a fashionable dancer as he helped Uttara Asha Coorlawala in her fashionable dance choreography ‘Ushas Sukta’. His modernity additionally mirrored in the way in which he lived his life — in a two-career long-distance marriage, with a spouse who was a physician by occupation.

He was a riveting performer and devoted to exploring and decoding the aesthetic of the shape in a number of methods, making him a true paviour. An excerpt from the chapter ‘From Mohan to Mohanrao’ offers a vivid description of his inventive magnificence.

“Anybody who noticed him dance was impressed by his tall type and calm, but expressive eyes. His flowing and expansive actions appeared as if he was folding all of the house round him into his embrace. He energised the stage along with his lengthy strides. His years of coaching in music rendered a uncommon musicality to his tatkar. His expressive eyes complemented each syllable of his padhant, speaking the aesthetic in addition to the literary sense of his compositions to the listener. He seamlessly blended the virtuosity of Jaipur gharana with the flowing, virtually lyrical actions of the Lucknow gharana, taking his efficiency to a degree of classicism unseen in a non-gharanedaar dancer.”

The e-book contains the household tree of the artiste, a handwritten observe of his meditations on life and several other archival pictures. This well timed biography provides a important dimension to Kathak historical past with a distinctive collaborative authorship by Kathak dancers and students. Riveting storytelling and insightful analysis makes it a compelling learn for the layperson, dance scholar in addition to artistes and academicians.

The writer is a Delhi based mostly arts researcher and author.

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