Having known Kumudini Lakhia for more than 60 years since we met in Mumbai at Cross Maidan in 1957, it has been quite an interesting journey of her career that I have been privileged to witness. Therefore, when we few dance critics were invited to attend two day Kathak dance festival Yugantar she had planned with her disciples, all came to learn more about the trials and tribulations she had undergone when establishing her institution Kadamb to train young generation of dancers way back in 1960!
She says: "There were only three dancers who joined. Then five, and then seven, and so on. I soon realized that in Ahmedabad, Kathak was not even accepted as a dance form. People had a misconception that it was considered dance of kothewalis, nachanewalis and girls from good families do not learn dance. It was a huge challenge for me to give Kathak a status that it deserved. I had returned to Ahmedabad having studied under the great Lucknow gharana master Shambhu Maharaj, Jaipur gharana master Sunderprasad and others. And I had appreciated Kathak as an excellent art form. So it became a mission for me to give Kathak the respectability that it deserved."
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