Moves in black & white

Shoma Kainini   | Photo Credit: mail

We have all watched enthralled as Gopi Krishna and Vyjayanthimala danced Kathak on screen, especially in the black and white era. The same magic will be recreated by Nrithyanidhi, a Kathak school as part of its tenth anniversary celebrations.

Called ‘Riti’, the show will be staged on November 20 at Alliance Francaise and it is a “celebration of the black and white era with the magic of Kathak,” says Shoma Kaikini, who founded the school in 2005 in Mumbai and in Bengaluru in 2010. The Bengaluru branch is taken care of her dancer sister, Ashwini Kaikini.

Shoma has choreographed Kathak to old Bollywood numbers such as ‘Woh hand khila…’, ‘Zulmi sang ankh ladi…’, ‘Chandan sa badan…’, and ‘Chod do anchal.’ The performance will feature students from Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Nrityanidhi, explains Shoma, believes in spiritual exuberance through dance. “I started innovating my own style and decided to create classical Kathak moves for Bollywood songs.”

Shoma, who has been awarded the Global Youth Leadership Award from the Youth Congress Committee in Delhi, started learning Kathak at a very young age.

“We were taught just the basics and I did not enjoy most of those classes. It was during my learning years that I have been influenced by every experience in my life – the good, bad and the ugly – which made me start my own school. The aim is to not just to impart the classical dance techniques, but also to make every student fall in love with Kathak,” explains Shoma.

Kathak, according to her gives her a lot of freedom in dance and expression.

Her passion is to do “something new” all the time. “We represent and manifest the spirit of a musical composition rather than just dancing to a composition. We listen to the music and first try to connect to it. However, you will not find any fusion in our moves, it is purely classical. Shut the music out and you will only see and relate to Kathak,” she adds.

The evening will also feature Shoma’s fiancé Harshvardhan Singh, a student of Pt. Birju Maharaj. “Maharaj ji loved our work when he saw what we were doing,” says the young dancer.

Choosing Bollywood music was easy as many people “connect to it. Not many can relate to a thumri. But Bollywood music is something that everyone can understand and enjoy.”

Does film music give her enough variations in emotions and the footwork? “Yes, of course. We have songs where we have danced with intense chakkars and footwork. Riti is about songs in black and white era. Songs of that time had a lot of drama. So we learnt to also act in our dance. Like a dialogue from the film Bawarchi, which says ‘It is very easy to be happy but very difficult to be simple’. We have tried to create something very simple. And, learning to be simple while dancing was difficult.”

(The show will be staged on November 20 at Alliance Francaise. For tickets call 8123436531, 9986761667.)

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 9:29:11 AM |

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