Standing FOOT

Vishnupriya Bhandaram
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Chatline Kathak exponents Mangala and Raghav Rajeev Bhatt tell Vishnupriya Bhandaram that dance is ever evolving

Awestern symphony plays on the piano. Her slender fingers gracefully switch from one mudra to the next, her face from one abhinaya to another. He brings vitality on to the stage, as he glides across it with complete creative control. In more ways than one, Mangala and Raghav Rajeev Bhatt are made for each other. Raghav Raj Bhatt hails from a family of dancers and has grown up watching and breathing art and dance. His father, Gopalraj Bhatt, was one of the first dancers from the city, and as a child Raghav performed in many of his creative ballets. He decided to pursue Kathak, worked towards winning the national scholarship and was selected by the Kathak Kendra in the capital. Raghav got a chance to work with Birju Maharaj. “I learnt and worked under him for 15 years and collaborate with him even today,” he says. Raghav now lives in Moscow, where he teaches Kathak. Mangala learnt Kathak at the Kathak Kendra; needless to say, she too was a scholarship holder. “I don’t come from a family of dancers and even the decision to pursue dance wasn’t laid out on a straight path, it was always meandering,” she says.




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