Shiladhish Art & Research Institute presented its annual performing arts festival, on 25th and 26th November, 2005. The brainchild of Bharatanatyam exponents, Deepak Mazumdar and Prakriti Bhaskar, Shiladhish Art & Research Institute has been instrumental in propagating and popularizing Bharatanatyam in Mumbai, for nearly two decades. Nrityam Festival is an effort to bring classical dance forms of India to the Mumbai audience; hence, like the previous year, the festival presented not only Bharatanatyam, but also Kuchipudi, Odissi and Kathak.

Other than this, the uniqueness of the festival was the institution of a cash award by Shiladhish, for a deserving artiste of Mumbai, who is involved in new creati ve ventures in the fine arts. It is indeed rare to find individuals who can look beyond their own creativity and work to propagate the fine arts, on a wider scale. This year’s awardee was Guru Smt. Rajee Narayan, senior Bharatanatyam Guru and Vaggeyakara, who is currently working on a project to popularize traditional folk dances of India. Her project called Rural Rhythms comprises workshops on folk dance, as well as audio CDs and book. She is now working towards the making of a video, which will document traditional folk dance.

Jaishree Rao
Nartanam. Oct-Dec 2005

Guru Rajee in conversation with Prakriti Bhaskar, Yamini & Guru Raja Reddy