Thursday 7 April 2022

Fond memories of generous contribution of Guru Kallianpurkar - Kathak's non gharana legator - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

Conceived by Kathak teacher Subhash Chandra as a tribute to his beloved late Guru Mohanrao Kallianpurkar, and sponsored by the Guru's family in celebration of their father/grandfather, with patronage provided by the design and fashion house Elara Productions run by 'yuvakalakars' Devika Agarwal and Shreejeeta Ghosh (students of Guru Subhash Chandra), the evening of Ek Antarang presented at Vivekananda Auditorium in association with the Kathak Kendra, despite the technical glitches testing the online viewer's attention, had its moments, while remembering a great Guru. Describing the Guru as the lighthouse in a dark world, director of Kathak Kendra, Suman Kumar, the guest of honour, specially referred to the contribution of a Guru who had left his creative legacy for the entire Kathak world - irrespective of the family line or Kathak school one represented. In a gharana bound community, this kind of open ended approach was rare. It can be explained by the fact that as a highly educated scholar (whose designing of the entire teaching method for Kathak is still the prescription in the Bhatkhande School), Mohanrao Kallianpurkar's lifetime (12 August 1913-1985 ), with most of his years spent in Kathak, was spurred entirely by love for the dance - hailing, as he himself did, from Hubli in Karnataka from a totally non Kathak family background.

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