Tuesday 10 June 2014

Profile - Guru Shambhu Maharaj - Dr. Maya Rao

Shambhu Maharaj is today the distinguished holder of the country’s most coveted honors – The Sangeet Natak Akademi award and the President’s award. Still he is unaffected by success and is never tired of repeating that he owes his position to his brother Guru Achan Maharaj.

Speaking of abhinaya in which Shambhu Maharaj is yet unrivalled, he says that he had watched Bindadin and his disciples performing abhinaya standing. While Shambhu was intrigued with the subtle variations in bhav (expression), he felt that the variations in music were not developed fully. So, when he learnt music he paid special attention to the melodious patterns one can create in singing a certain line of a thumri and then render them in bhav. Hence he chose to sit and perform abhinaya as he could get more clarity in expressive movements and develop them with unhurried ease. Thus, in course of time, Shambhu Maharaj developed a style of his own in abhinaya.

Shambhu Maharaj is not only a renowned dancer but a reputed guru also. He can be easily identified with the ideal dancer and dance teacher immortalized by Kalidasa in his Malavikagnimitra. Most of the leading Kathak dancers of the younger generation are the disciples of Maharaj. He works very hard with his students endeavoring to leave the stamp of his style on them. He aims at perfection in every step and movement. He is forever creating new dance sequences emphasizing the lyrical aspect. He never lets his student leave the class until he is assured that he or she is able to perform a new lesson with confidence.

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