Past Events

Bheti Laage Jeeva    

Date : 4th Jan 2015

Inauguration by : Shri Bharat Dabholkar
Hon'ble Guests :

Shri. Tirath Ajmani (Jyeshth Katthak, Nartak Guru, Delhi)
Mr. Daniel Berman (Ex Vice President, East West Center, Hwi, U.S.A.)

followed by

Dance & Music evening by the student of Kala Chhaya with grand finale by
Shri Shrinivas Bhimsen Joshi (Vocal)

Aseema Kala Yatra    

Aseema Kala Yatra : Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography & STEM Dance Kampni In association with Kala Chhaya, Pune Present The hugely acclaimed choreography workshop & performance series
Aseema Kala Yatra

Book Launch of "A Lifetime In Choreography" by Maya Rao, at the hands of Smt. Lalan Sarang in the honorable presence of
Smt. Chitra Venugopal (Bengaluru)

NIRVAYYA (Dissolving in Divinity)
Visualization and Choreography Dr. Maya Rao and Madhu Nataraj

Kavyanrutya Unmesh    

As a part of its ongoing golden jubilee celebrations, the Kala Chhaya Cultural Centre is organising Kavya Nrutya Unmesh – a programme dedicated to modern Marathi poet Krishnaji Keshav Damle better known as Keshavsut. The centre was founded by Guru Prabha Marathe, senior disciple of Kathak legend Pt Birju Maharaj, in 1965. 

While explaining the thought behind the programme, Rashmi Terphale, principal, dance department and niece of Guru Prabha Marathe says, “Most Kathak dancers face criticism that they do not indulge in any other repertory of songs (thumri, bhajan etc) when it comes to the bhaav (expression) part of the dance form. Marathi literature is very rich and our poets have written poems for every occasion of life. Sadly, people are forgetting Marathi poetry amid the clutter of various forms of entertainment. We want to revive the dying interest in poetry, especially among the youngsters,” Rashmi tells us. 

So they have selected poems of famous poets from the 19th and 20th century, starting from Keshavsut to Aruna Dhere, Mangesh Padgaonkar, Vijaya Jahagirdar among others, whose inspirational poems have changed many mindsets. The poems include  nature poems, existential poems, poems based on feminism, to a name a few. 

"The idea was to combine dance with literature, by getting young dancers who are acquainted with Marathi poems, and allowing them to present it through their choreography," Rashmi explains adding that the 21 dancers who will be performing have been given the freedom to choose their own formats of presentation. There will be five different dance styles that will be showcased — Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Oddissi, Contemporary and Ballet. Dr Mannisha Dixit and Dr Shyamala Vanarase have helped all the participants of Kavya Nrutya Unmesh. "The meanings and moods of poems were explained to the dancers so that they could get appropriate expressions. Once they understood the poems, the dances were choreographed," Rashmi informs. The programme also features Nrityasamanvay, a lec-dem on 'Karanas', in Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odissi by Dr Sandhya Purecha (Bharatnatyam), Zhelum Paranjape (Odissi) and Roshan Datye (Kathak). It will include performances by Pavitra Bhat, Ajay Shendge and Dhanashree Potdar. The discussion is organised by Pt Birjumaharaj Chair, which is a part of Kala Chhaya.

Kathak Ganga Sagar    


Symmetry and alignment are as geometric as they are artistic, but couple them with mesmeric dance and serene music, and what you have is a concoction that allures to every sensory organ of the human body.

The banyan is a fig that starts out as an epiphyte and traverses a journey that is largely overlooked into becoming a huge tree. The river flows with a purpose of one day being able to amalgamate with the ocean. The recently concluded festival of Kathak at Kalachhaya, was in all permanence a corroboration of that feeling. A shagird, a student, now a guru was paying homage to the art as she knew it and as is supposed to be done. There was no dearth of legends, but none bigger than the stage or the art-form.

A disclaimer is purposefully being laid down at this point, that the author of this piece is writing as merely a bystander in an inertial frame of reference, any other assumption on the author's part would be unbecoming considering the limited knowledge of art and music that the author possesses.

It is said, that those who can't do, teach. I learnt that, those who can't do nor teach, join the cavalcade of the support staff. I tried my hands at the tabla, but very early, both me and my guru, realized that I better served the purpose of being an audience or a connoisseur. After that, the journey has been smoother.

Sometime last year, when Rashmi, a dear friend, told me that Kalachhaya would soon be celebrating its Golden Jubilee, it was perfunctory for me to be a part of the celebrations and help in any way possible with the limited abilities and resources that I possess. Little did I know then or realize that, yet again, I was the one being benefited. The festival kicked-off with the undisputed doyen of the art-form, the legendary Sitara-Devi jee and her daughter Jayantimala, the supremely talented Vishal Krishna and the upcoming nartika Rushika representing the Benaras Gharana.

Day two saw the Jaipur and Raigad Gharana charm the audience with their notably different styles and the musicians rising to the occasion. If the first two days were any indication of the imminence of enthrallment, the audience were steered into nirvana on the third day. The 3 day festival, aptly titled 'Kathak Ganga-Sagar' concluded with the trance inducing, breath arresting, nerve tingling performance of Pt. Jai-Kishen Maharaj and Mamata Maharaj of the Lucknow Gharana. If a soul, left the premises, sans a feeling of overwhelm and thankfulness of breathing the same air as them that night, that soul was truly departed long back.

Time and again, since, the first time I got to see Ustaad Zakir Hussain perform, thanks to Rashmi, I have experienced, pure unbridled contentment and pious joy in working with and witnessing genuine artistry by the souls connected to the Kalachhaya family; who amongst us, the non-possessors of a single artistic bone, can boast, of being in the vicinity of Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Ustaad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Sitaradevijee, Pt. Jai-Kishen Maharaj, Mamata Maharaj, Alpana Bajpai and Bharat Jangam & Rashmi Terphale themselves? These small time-frames of which there exist no explanations of why it should be me, momentarily make me believe in past-life regression. Puva-Punyayi jabbar aslyashivay he hoat nahi! It is consecration and devotion not mere presence and access that one needs to truly be able to appreciate when the sum is hit, and an infinitesimal pause is all that you have to soak it all in, but when you do get it, the feeling is of a thousand splendid moons.

It is not just the visual pleasure from watching the performances that is the biggest yield that I drew from being associated with Kalachhaya, but the philosophy of the organization, the work culture, the treatment meted out to everyone and the unconditional spirit of teamwork. In fact, many a times, we do not get to see the actual stage performance because we are responsible for what goes on before and after the performance. It was during this festival, 'Kathak Ganga-Sagar' that I realized that there was so much more fun in witnessing the rehearsals and being with the legends backstage than being one of the 500 people in the audience.

The things that you learn! Dha-Taka-Thunga…in the words of Pandit Jai-Kishen Maharaj; usme sadhana hai, usko sadho, dha – aye, Taka- taako, Thunga – Lord Shiva is in the building!

This time, I was blessed to see the chemistry between a brother and a sister, who beyond, family ties were artistes of the highest order. I was blessed to see the dancer in them coach the musicians, I was blessed to see a student and a teacher interact without any protocol. I was blessed to see the torch bearers of the four Gharanas on one stage. Na bhuto – na bhavishyati; this might have been possibly the last time it was happening.

As we conclude one chapter in this manuscript to be of integrated milieus of performances, I cannot help but wonder with awe of what is coming. I pray to the lords of dance and music that I have enough strength to absorb it all and in due course inculcate a fraction of what we the non-possessors of a single artistic bone will be exposed to. Shakespeare had something to say about humans being actors, and the word being the stage, Pandit Birju Maharaj, in his address to the audience re-iterated that thought with much precision. The audience got to witness humans overcome their body through devotion rather than modern medicine and faith and humility was restored amongst the masses. Until next time…

Krutadnyata Sandhya    
  As a celebration of the 71st Birthday of Guru Pt. Munnalalji Shukla on 7th and 8th dec 2013.

The entire festival was a very enriching experience for the students and teachers, as apart from 3 fabulous performances of Smt Jayashree Jangam, Smt Ruchi Saini, and Smt Jyotsana Banerjee (students of Guru Munna-lal ji Shukla)

Kalachhaya also hosted a seminar for teachers, in the presence of gurus like Munna-lal ji Shukla and Smt Maya Rao. An open session for artists from various fields apart from dance, which saw the presence of eminent gurus like Ustad Saiduddin Dagarji, Ustad Usmankha Sahed, bharatnatyam exponent Smt Sucheta Chapekar, Shyamala Vanarase, among others. A workshop was also organised for the young dancers of kathak aged 18 to 25 which definitely added to their existing experience.

Kalachhaya truly expressed its gratitude towards Munna-lal ji Shukla for his unparalleled contribution to kathak and in particular, to Kala Chhaya, Pune.