Dancing with mind and soul
By Anindita Dutta Roy
20th November 2012 10:48 AM
After my performance in Paris, a lady from the audience came up and said I have never seen Lord Shiva in my life but I saw him through your movements,” said Pandit Rajendra Gangani when he spoke about his most auspicious moment in life so far.
The dancing maestro from Jaipur enamoured the city with his poise and grace on his visit to Bangalore for his performance at the Indiranagar Sangeet Sabha.
When one steps inside his arena of dance, one can feel the harmony in the bells of his ghungru flowing along his magical voice, chanting those bols of Kathak.
He might be well known for his dance but Pandit Rajendra Gangani's musical compositions are equally invincible.
Belonging to a lineage of eminent Kathak dancers, he has always felt a pressure to reach the bench-mark his family has created.
Today, he possesses the nation's most honorary award like the Natak Akademi award. He also been conferred with several prestigious awards from all over the world.
“Today I see artistes put their awards ahead of their talent. The whole award-giving-factor is actually a commercialised concept,” said Panditji with a sigh of disappointment.
On asking about his style of experimentation with Kathak, which is regarded as a sacrosanct dance-form, Panditji says although it is a difficult task, he respectfully fulfils it to cater to the younger generation of this country.
He believes that dance is the perfect art form to spread the message of humanity. 20-25 years ago, he had raised his concerns on 'deforestation' through his act, 'Vrikshamitra', vriksha meaning trees and mitra meaning friends.
Just like many people try to attain moksha through different ways, Panditji tries to reach that stage of divinity through his dance.
He never performs dance for mere entertainment, he does it to spread a social message to the world and awe the audience with the rich culture that the Indians have been bestowed with.
Keeping humility as his prime element and respect for his Guruji, the dance maestro still feels nervous before performing on the stage.
Being an exponent in Jaipur gharana, Pandit Rajendra Gangani feels this is the only gharana in Kathak which is dedicated to devotion.
“The devotion, its expressions and parampara have been there since time immemorial. There is bhakti in this gharana which makes this gharana a unique one,”said Panditji.
Although he regards Bangalore as a city of machines, he affirms that there are great artistes too who are trying to keep the Indian culture alive through dance and music.
He expresses his desire to visit this city time and again and conduct dance workshops for interested students who are the future of this nation.
Conducting workshops with Antara also gives him the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Gurukul atmosphere.
The artist ardently believes that the future is for his disciples who are caught in the transitional age.
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