‘KATHAK FOR HIM’
Mumbai: A first-of-its kind workshop titled ‘Kathak For Him’ is set to storm Mumbai on , Father’s Day and will see grown men dance to the tune of one woman - Kathak guru Aparna Mishra.
The danseuse, who has trained in the classical dance form for 16 years, has especially designed a 90-minute workshop for men because she wants to bust the myth that Indian classical dance is predominantly the domain of women.
Through this unique Kathak workshop for men, Mishra will educate the audience that activity and emotions have nothing to do with gender. “If you want to smile or cry, there is nothing wrong. If you want to blush, go ahead and let the blush come to your cheeks irrespective of your gender,” says Aparna.
While Aparna has been teaching Kathak to both men and women for many years, she now wants men to do away with the taboo they associate in their minds by taking up classical dance. The special workshop will see Aparna employ male specific foot work, bhaav, bol and body posture involving the Fibonacci series (a mathematical pattern prevalent in nature). She has consciously included elements of mathematics and physics because she feels more men easily relate to these subjects.
The aim of the workshop is to introduce Kathak to people not only as a form of entertainment but as a life-changing experience. This will help break stereotypes about dance and liberate us.
We still practise gender-based inequalities socially and behaviourally. In the fight to prove superiority of one gender over the other, we have forgotten to enjoy the gender differences. “Yes, the make of a man is different from a woman’s and vice-versa. However, does that mean one or the other should be considered strong or weak?” asks Aparna.
The workshop is an attempt to highlight, discuss and celebrate gender inequalities in terms of strength, weakness, emotions and areas of power through Kathak. “We appreciate equality, so let’s also appreciate, celebrate and not shy away from these inequalities because that is the way nature has made us,” believes Aparna.
About Aparna Mishra
Aparna Mishra began learning Kathak at the age of three under late Pandit Viswanath Mishra, a celebrated guru and her great grand father who hailed from Mithila and followed the ‘parampara’ of the Benaras Gharana. She has also trained under Pandit Sant Lal Jha Sumanand, completing Nritya Bhaskar (Masters) from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh. Subsequently Aparna continued honing her skills under the guidance of Pandit Birju Maharaj.
Aparna promotes Kathak under the ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara’. She has studied and researched the Vedic scriptures, shastras and shlokas, ayurveda, yoga and meditation. Their interpretation through dance has added to her teaching and presentations which defines her signature style, Natya Yoga - an engagement of all the five senses through movements, meditation and holistic chanting leading to a spiritual detox and purification.
She has imparted professional Kathak training to more than 3000 students and has successfully conducted mass choreography working with 500 participants on stage at one time. She has choreographed and presented compositions for the NCC and Indian Army. She has received the gold medal on Republic Day 2002, from then Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for her solo dance presentation. She has also choreographed the video album ‘Policing Plus’ for Delhi Police for all the IAS and IPS officers and was awarded by the Delhi Police Commissioner.
For a detailed account of Aparna Mishra’s work you could visit www.kalasaadhna.com