Since its very inception, the Sadhana Kathak Kendra has been steadfastly promoting and propagating Kathak, one of the six classical dance forms of the country, throughout the State. Founded by the eminent exponent of Lucknow Gharana of Kathak, Aligunjan Kalita Mudiar, and her sister, noted dance exponent Chandrani Kalita Ojah, Sadhana Kathak Kendra in collaboration with the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, organised a two-day classical dance festival entitled ‘Vandan’ on July 17-18, on the occasion of renowned Kathak exponent, Guru Surendra Saikia’s second death anniversary, at the Rabindra Bhawan recently. A number of dance enthusiasts, amateur and professional practitioners, critics and connoisseurs got themselves truly immersed in the festival that featured exponents not just from Assam but from other parts of the country as well.
The opening day saw the talented students of Sadhana Kathak Kendra performing Shiva Vandana, Ram Bhajan and Tarana – Barkha Ritu under the choreography of Aligunjan Kalita Mudiar, before the audience was treated to a fabulous evening of pure traditional Kathak, performed by three of its most prominent proponents – Aligunjan Kalita Mudiar, V. Anuradha Singh from Bhopal and Delhi’s Eshani Agarwal. The meticulously performed Kathak items by these highly professional artistes held the audiences spellbound at the jam-packed auditorium that more often than not, reverberated in the alluring sound of the ghunghroo.
The second day too began with the students of Sadhana Kathak Kendra taking on the stage with their presentations of Kathak based items – Ganesh Stuti, Nritya Dhara, Krishna Bhajan – Tarana and Chandam, under the choreography of Aligunjan Kalita Mudiar. A captivating Kathak performance by Rupa Rani Das Bora and a virtuosic vocal recital by Kolkata’s Bidushi Anjana Nath turned out to be the highlights of the evening. The evening also served as an occasion to recognise the exceptionally gifted Kathak exponent Bipul Das, who was felicitated with the Guru Surendra Saikia Memorial Award 2017. Incidentally, renowned artiste Garima Hazarika was the recipient of this award last year.
On the occasion, a souvenir – ‘Vandan’ edited by cine-journalist Manoranjan Kalita was also released. Compered by Tarun Chandra Kalita and Saniya Sharma, the professional dancers in the two-day festival were aptly accompanied by Lucknow’s Rajeev Shukla on tabla, Sourav Mahanta on vocal, Dwipendra Sarma on violin, Utathya Kalita on tabla and Pandit Parimal Chakravarty on tabla.
Its worth noting that Sadhana Kathak Kendra, founded in memory of Guru Vikram Singhe in 1995, has been conducting training and demonstration programmes through academic classes, workshops and performances, in the field of Hindustani classical vocal, instrumental music and Kathak dance. In addition to performing in prestigious cultural functions in places like Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, etc., a number of its students have gone on to earn CCRT (Centre for Cultural Resources and Training) scholarships, and National Scholarships under Govt. of India’s Human Resource Development department.