‘A dance is poem of which each movement is a word’
— Mata Hari
And for Kathak, it stands valid since kathakars are nothing but storytellers, quite literally. At the age of five, Kanhari Pinge was introduced to Kathak by her parents. Initially trained by her mother, Kanhari soon caught up with all that her mother had to impart. Then, she found her mentor in Yogesh Sharma, son of Guru Kanhiya Lal Sharma.
Being inclined to a particular dance form all her life, it never occurred to her to try out other things. She says, “When I was young, I saw so many children learning Kathak but they drifted away. I have been lucky that my parents have been constantly motivating me to follow this dance form. Having said that, I don’t mean I have not hit the saturation point. We all do in life. But to overcome it and start enjoying it again is what makes you successful.”
Excited to be selected for the National Institute of Kathak in Delhi, she explains, “Delhi is the hub for all art-related activities. All the major classical concerts happen there and I always had this desire to be exposed to various cultural events to have a deeper understanding of art forms.”
About Chandigarh, she adds, “Although there are few events that take place in the city, but various activities at Tagore Theatre have opened up my mind towards recitals, art, theatre and other things.”
She is trained under the Jaipur Gharana of Kathak. Under Yogesh Sharma’s guidance, she has been regularly performing and participating at various events and competitions. At the age of 18, she has carved a niche for herself in tricity.
Kanhari has participated in the 59th All-India Dance and Drama Competition held at Shimla and stood second. She was also a part of the ballet Radha ki Unkahi Kahaani, conceptualised by Dr Sameera Koser, which aired on Doordarshan.
She says, “The form of Kathak that I am mastering focuses on footwork (tatkara) and chakkar. I still have to master the art of facial expression. Perfection in facial expressions comes with age. I admire Aditi Mangaldas, the famous Kathak dancer for she blends traditional Kathak with contemporary dance forms.”
Kanhari also took to theatre for she believes theatre and Kathak complement each other. A spinal tumour detected last year compelled her to put a pause to her Kathak practice, yet she presented a classical recital choreographed and conceptualised by her mother Pallavi Pinge on the 55th Sarvajanik Ganeshotsva Festival held at Maharashtra Bhawan-Chandigarh. —Sheetal
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