In the classical dance scene of Kolkata, Bharatanatyam has understandably a large number of institutions devoted to it, followed by those available for Kathak and Odissi - in no particular order. Thanks to the presence of the pioneering Guru Bipin Singh in Kolkata and influence of Santiniketan's overwhelming choice, Manipuri should have found a stronger foothold in the metropolis, but that does not seem to be the case, as seen from only a few scattered learning centres. Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and Kathakali schools are not too many either. Sattriya being a new starter (with recognition received only in 1999) is yet to find a firm niche in the city. To set the records straight, Navanritya, an innovative synthesis of classical and folk forms by Manjushri Chaki-Sircar has a couple of centres and Gaudiya Nritya, Bengal's own tradition resurrected from sculptural and scriptural sources by Mahua Mukherjee, has its students securing Central government scholarships but no national recognition yet.
Under the circumstances, the recent happenings with Mohiniattam and Kathakali were like a breath of fresh air in the city. While the performances in the first case were in keeping with the complete rigor of music and costume, in the second instance they were sans the traditional attires. Both the events drew huge applause from the large number of viewers, showing renewed interest and enthusiasm for these styles.
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