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Dancing Enigmas: Some Dance Performances and Covers to Watch

Diving into the dance performances and covers by these enthusiastic dancers and choreographers to cheer up the mood.

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Dance

Dance is the language of love and arts. It transcends the language barriers. It unites us all into one happy moment. Dance is surely an enigma. It is with delight that we watch dance performances and covers, and the enthrallment during this is irreplaceable. Most of the credit, of course, goes to dance as an art form, but also to the dancers and the choreographers who bring to light their blissful performances. There are so many dance genres, and each has its own uniqueness, and its own charm. Be it the energy enthusiastic hip hop, or the calming and graceful semi classical, we cannot deny the presence of either, even though we might have preferences. So, here we have a list of some phenomenal dance performances to lighten up your mood, or maybe move your body along with these dancers!

Tejas Dhoke and Ishpreet – Srivalli 

Tejas Dhoke and Ishpreet present a magical dance performance on the song Srivalli. This sweet dance, with elements of enchantment and vigour, has been choreographed by Tejas Dhoke. You will not find Tejas and Ishpreet missing a step or a beat anywhere. The synchronisation and coordination of the amazing steps makes this short dance performance a fun to watch, and applaud Tejas’ choreographer persona. 

Credits: YouTube Dancefit Live

Karan Sharma and Tanya Sharma – Arabic Kuthu Dance Cover

A power packed performance, loaded with fun, energy and rhythmic beats, is the interlude dance performance you need! Karan Sharma and Tanya Sharma, the groovy duo, deliver all their energy into this dynamic dance performance. The dripping energy will surely make you stand up and groove with them instantly. Both Karan Sharma and Tanya Sharma, also accompany with their dance the best facial expressions as well! You can see they’re thoroughly enjoying the dance as well. 

Credits: YouTube Karan Sharma

Divya Singh – Tum Tak 

Tum Tak by A.R. Rehman from the movie Ranjhana, without a debate and without a doubt, is everyone’s favourite song. Sneha Kapoor’s dance choreography on this beautiful song makes it even a more memorable piece. Divya Singh does full justice to the semi classical choreography. Her grace and elegance synchronises with the sweet melody of Tum Tak and delivers yet another enchanting and soothing performance. 

Credits: YouTube Divya Singh

Srija – Ghanan Ghanan 

The evergreen, Ghanan Ghanan, from the movie Lagaan, has always been the favourite of the songs to do a dance cover on. Dressed in a Rajasthani attire, Srija choreographs an intricate dance performance for this song. Extensive footwork, with simultaneous hand movements, surely Indian classical dances can never be beaten! Srija brings to light a bright, expressive and moving dance performance.

Credits: YouTube Srija Ramakrishna

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Dance

Phenomenal Performances by Young Semi Classical Dancers

Wondering what a blend of modern and classical dance would look like? Here’s presenting some phenomenal semi classical dance performances

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semi classical, dance, mehak tejwani, Shivani Sharma,Susmita Chakraborthy

Dance is the voice of the soul and the language of the heart. Be it modern or classical, dance has always intrigued a curiosity and fascination for people. In the GenZ era with new trends popping up daily, semi-classical dance is something that carved its niche way beyond time. Here’s presenting some amazing dancers with a passion to mix and match to create wonders. Watching them you are sure to shout ‘Taal se Taal Mila’  to your buddy.

Susmita Chakraborthy 

Born with her left limb shorter than the right one, Susmita Chakraborthy is changing mindsets with her determination and will power. She is a dancer and choreographer who aces every move with perfection with her prosthetic leg. The grace she depicts in her recent performance is beyond words. Performing a semi classical solo on the soulful song ‘Ishq Karu’ from the movie ‘Sita Raman’, Susmita puts forth an epitome of elegance. Her flawless movements and synchronization are what makes her a perfect dancer. Surely, Susmita can leave Sita and Ram wondering about the unexplored beauty of the song her performance discovered. Find her on Instagram.

Credits: YouTube (Susmita Chakraborthy)

Richa Tiwari 

Hailing from Lucknow, the city that personifies ‘nazakat’, Richa Tiwari is a choreographer with a style of her own. Being a semi-classical dancer, Richa loves to present a blend of modern and classical forms like Bharatnatyam and Kathak. Her performance on the gem song ‘Ek dil hai ek jaan hai’ by Shivam Pathak from the 2018 movie Padmaavat is worth an applause. The smoothness in her moves puts up a perfect show of magnificence. Richa justified her choice of choreographing her dance on the song from the Ranvir Singh and Deepika Paducone starrer. Follow Richa’s Beats and Taal here.

Credits: YouTube (Beats and Taal)

Shivani Sharma 

Shivani is a Delhi based dancer and choreographer whose soul loves to groove on her favourite music. Recently, Shivani chose Coke Studio Season 9’s hit ‘Afreen Afreen’ to give her soul the perfect kind of satiation it needed. She performed a semi classical dance on the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan song. Her moves brimmed with charm and presented an unparalleled show of adroitness. This performance by Shivani must have surely pleased Nataraja – the Lord of Dance. Come on y’all and dance with Shivi.

Credits: YouTube (Shivani Sharma)

Mehek Tejwani

A dancer and choreographer, Mehek Tejwani loves to perform semi-classical dance. Recently, she choreographed and performed on the song ‘Mast Magan’ from the 2014 film 2 States. Along with her fellow dance enthusiasts, Vaishnavi Kale and Sneha Gujar, Mehek took it on herself to put forth a blend of modern and classical dance. Their movements were poise and elegant. Mehek with her team added a silver thread to the already profound song by Arijit Singh and Chinmayi Sripada. You are sure to fall head over heels for this performance.

Credits: YouTube (Dancehood by Mehek)

Anwesha Bhatia

The teen sensation, Anwesha Bhatia is a renowned contestant of Super Dancer Chapter 3, a reality show that aired in 2018 on Sony Entertainment Television. Anwesha recently presented a semi-classical dance on the Marathi treasured song ‘Apsara Aali’ from the album ‘Natarang’ by Ajay Atul and Bela Shende. Her precise and smooth movements are way beyond her age. Her eyes express her confidence and make her stand apart from the crowd. Anwesha is a spectacular dancer with a dynamic personality. She will amaze you with her passion and skill. 

Credits: YouTube (The Anwesha Bhatia)
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Kathak Musings With The 75-year-old Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji

Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji, the senior most disciple of Pandit Natraj Gopi Krishna Ji, shares his journey with the classical dance of Kathak.

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Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji, Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar, Kathak Legend, Dance, Living Legend

The classical dance form of Kathak is an ancient art form, dating back to the 4th century BC. It reclines on the timelessness of its poise, gratuity to storytelling, discipline and the marvel of music. If Indian culture and its heritage resembles a complex and intricate tapestry, perhaps Kathak, in it, is the dominant streak of the scarlet thread which runs around with its blooming aura – that is how significant Kathak has been, both to the people and the country’s civilisation. Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar ji, the 75-year-old Kathak dancer and teacher, has given 60 years of his life to Kathak. In an exclusive interview with Dr. Ketkar Ji, we sat and listened to his musings on this immersive art form, which has extended itself potentially from its ancient origin to the dynamic contemporary period. 

The Guru-Shishya Parampara: The Beginnings of Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji

Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji, born in the year 1948, shared how at the age of fifteen, he stood mesmerised at Pandit Gopi Krishna Maharaj Ji’s Kathak performance at Bedekar Mahavidyalaya. The performance so profusely moved him that he couldn’t help but fall for it. This was the very beginning of Kathak in his life, which would be accompanied by various other art forms of music and dance in his later years. Pandit Natraj Gopi Krishna Ji is a renowned Kathak Dancer. He has choreographed several dances for the Hindi cinemas and performed not just in India but across the world. Dr. Ketkar ji is currently one of his senior most ganda bandhit disciple. As his first and only inspiration, Gopi Krishna’s rangmanch (stage) ignited an eternal spark within him, making him firm in his decision of wanting to learn and perform in the same way as him.

As a teenage boy, he took the first step towards Kathak through the dance teacher at his school. He suggested that he perform a traditional Kathak set on the stage to gauge his potential to embrace the dance and inspire the audience. Performing a Saraswati Vandana, Ketkar ji shared that on the stage, he tried to perform the same way he remembered from Gopi Krishna Ji’s performance. The dance came naturally to Ketkar ji, and the audience echoed loud applauses at his performance. 

After his first stage performance, he sought Pandit Gopi Krishna Maharaj Ji to request him to be his teacher. He visited his house, whereupon, later, he also got introduced to several other gurus, excelling in other art forms. Dr. Rajkumar Ji had the opportunity to meet Pandit Lachhu Maharaj Ji, Kathak dancer of the Lucknow Gharana, who offered him to learn thumri. He mentions how in earlier times, one had to go to different gurus to learn different art forms, unlike today, when usually a single guru is adept in multiple art forms. A few years later, on the advice of his friend, Ketkar ji trained under Pandit Mohanrao Kallianpurkar Ji of the Jaipur Gharana, who was a teacher at National Centre for performing Arts. This way, he was lucky enough to learn from three gurus, excelling in all the three gharanas of Kathak. The conversation with Dr. Ketkar Ji becomes all the more significant since he narrates from a time period from which not many artists live amongst us today. 

Amidst the conversations around his several Gurus, he emphasises on the Guru-Shishya Parampara, a bond, and a relationship thus built which is based on devotion, enlightenment, discipline and respect. The knowledge and skill imparted by the gurus is indispensable and it is of core value. One of the core essence of Guru-Shishya Parampara is Ganda Bandhan.

The extreme left first lady is his Matoshree (mother) Indira Bai Ketkar Ji. She was his support system and someone who always believed in his dreams and this art form.

The Three Gharanas of Kathak: Inspirations and Aspirations 

Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar ji, at the very beginning of the conversation, mentions the ancient divination of classical dances. Derived from the four vedas: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda, classical dances like the Kathak are the oldest forms of art in India. Its elements of rasa (emotions), Laya (rhythm), Abhinaya (acting), and body movements have been carefully detailed in the Natyashastra, which again establishes the divinity of classical dances, and how it’s founded on traditional ancient scriptures which have been followed for generations.

While talking about his inspiration, Ketkar ji dwelled on the learnings from Gopi Krishna Maharaj. Natraj Gopi Krishna Ji was an exponent of the Benares Gharana. Under his tutelage, Dr. Rajkumar ji learnt the Benares Gharana style of Kathak, along with collecting stories and histories of the dance form. Forwarding the history, Ketkar ji addressed the challenges and changes that Kathak faced since the many ages.

Lucknow, as we might not know, was previously known as Lakshmanpur or Lakhanpur, where Kathak was commonly called “Lakshmanpur ka Nritya.” Originally, Kathak, in Lakshmanpur, had its roots in the temples of northern India, therefore, being predominantly a devotional dance form. With the arrival of the Mughals, Kathak was transformed into a dance for entertainment, incorporating elements of the Persian and Islamic cultures like ghazals. The Mandir Parampara was replaced. Daasis/Courtesans performed Thumri and not the shastriya nritya.

There was also a shift from Kathak being now performed as a group dance rather than solo. Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji especially emphasises on this intervention in Kathak. He says that one doesn’t simply have to learn the dance steps. The learning and understanding of the different granthas of the Natyashastra is equally essential. This means that other elements like music, the rhythmic vocals, the tabla, along with the presentation, the clothing, are equally important. 

On left is Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji and on the right is Natraj Gopi Krishna Maharaj Ji

So when discussing the Mughal interventions in Kathak, the topic of the western influence on Kathak emerged. With social media and the internet, different cultures have become more visible than before. The fusion and influence of different dances is bound to collaborate and collide with each other. Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar ji’s thoughts on this were simple and direct. He acknowledges that new technology like projectors, smoke machines, lights and sounds, etc. are big innovations and contributions of the west in enhancing the dance production. He also takes his time to appreciate Madame Menaka’s contribution in promoting the Indian classical dance across Europe in the 1930s. Menaka’s troupe performed some 175 shows, which placed India’s cultural heritage in the centre.

However, we should not bear the influences of Western dance on the Indian classical dances. As mentioned before, the parampara, the traditions of the classical dances, distinguish them as pristine, graceful, and authentic. Western influence on Kathak will reduce the dance form to mere entertainment. He mentions how there is a stark difference between the outfits of Western and Indian dances, and while we might not think it crucial, the attire and the get up are integral to the dance performance. Unlike western dances, classical dances are a holistic production, in which music, instruments like the tabla and the pakhawaj, all are tied together in one, and can’t function with the absence of the other. 

Learning all the three styles of Kathak, Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar ji says that what pushes his enthusiasm for the dance form is the desire to incorporate new elements without tampering the traditional quintessential of the dance form. Some of these ‘new’ performances have been when he performed a ballet in Marathi of the play, Dushyant Shakuntalam, in which he danced in the role of Dushyant. Other performances have been the ‘Asht Nayika’ directed by Lachhu Maharaj Ji, or ‘Radhe Piya Pyaari’ in which Ketkar ji played Krishna alongside Guru Padma didi Sharma, who played Radha.

Guru Sant. Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji with his Senior Disciple Mrs. Vaidehi Soman

Present and the Past: Bringing Kathak To The Audience

Over the years, Ketkar ji learned other dance forms as well. Every year, especially on the occasion of 15th August, he teaches and choreographs many dance performances. A lot of these are folk dances and Bollywood dance styles. However, in these choreographies, Ketkar ji incorporates Kathak. The devotional dance performances, like Shiva Vandana or Saraswati Vandana are then brought to the forefront. With such creative inputs and diversity of dance forms introduced on stages, he of course, received humble and positive appraisals from the audience and event holders alike, which motivates him to continue this feat. This way he combines the ancient and the contemporary, and keeps the classics alive. 

Earlier the major focus was mainly on the practical part of dance and he faced many difficulties to learn theories while pursuing his graduation from Akhila Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal. Which is when he was introduced by a friend to Dr Shweni Pandya Ji and Pt. Tirathram Azad Ji who helped him to excel in his theoretical knowledge in Kathak. Further, to spread awareness of theoretical knowledge of Kathak he promoted books written by many known dance gurus to his disciples. Through this he was able to share his voice on Kathak dance – as it is not just practical art form but also entails equal weightage on Shastra Paksha i.e theory.

Dr. Rajkumar Ketkar Ji’s Message to the Aspiring Artists

Dr. Rajkumar Ji recalls how in his childhood he always had a penchant for dance. This might have also come from his mother, who used to occasionally sing. His friends and relatives used to mock him for wanting to learn dance. This mockery, of course, suggested that ‘dance’ wasn’t necessarily seen as a worthy profession and its inherent art wasn’t appreciated for. However, years later, the same friends stood astounded in front of him, deeply awed at his stature now. With a doctorate in Kathak from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, his known ones could only bow down at the level of the ‘Shastra Paksh’ he has since learnt and adopted. 

Dr. Ketkar ji himself wasn’t necessarily shown support for pursuing dance and so he understands how difficult it is to survive in a society that would force you to pick practical career paths than the unconventional ones. When asked what would be some tips of advice he’d like to give to the aspiring artists, he first mentioned that one’s approach towards one’s art should be honest. One must understand ‘art’ in its true form. For him, Kathak hasn’t been merely about entertainment. The history and calling of Kathak testifies it to be greater than just a show-and-perform. He specifically asks the aspiring classical dancers to engage in ‘upaasna.’ Understand the art, and art will understand you.

Secondly, if you truly want to pursue your art, then there’s no second option. He believes that if you display passion and honesty for your art form, then you will definitely convince your parents for their support. Lastly, he also appeals to the younger generation to take up the classical arts of India, to study the shastras, the Sanskrit language, and keep the traditional art forms alive.

Credits: YouTube (Nutan Rathore)
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Dance

Indian Classical Dance Performances To Feast Your Eyes

Indian classical dance forms are hard to master but their eternal charm can never be dulled. Presenting to you some amazing classical performances to feast your eyes.

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dance, performance, Indian classical dance, ghungroo, heavenly

Dance is a type of art form that can bring heaven to Earth with its beauty and grace. Known for its discipline and rigid schedule, Indian classical dance forms are one of the toughest dance forms to master in the world. It requires a lot of devotion and dedication. But once a dancer masters it, they open the door to eternal bliss. Mastering them not only brings them closer to divinity but even helps the spectator get a glimpse of the heaven above. Presenting some ethereal dance performances that will make you gape in awe.

Dhanashree Thillana by Team Anartana

Choreographed by Simran Sivakumar this classical piece by Team Anartana perfectly captures the essence of the songs. The dancers not only exude elegance but also high energy. Not missing a beat and still remaining graceful, the dancers ensure to bring to life each lyric with their movements and gestures. From the perfect synchronisation of each toe to the eye, this piece is a feast for one’s eyes. The way they matched traditional Bharatnatyam to the beats of a Carnatic rock song is bound to make one tap their hands and feet in tune with glee.

Credits: YouTube (Simran Sivakumar)

Kaali – Awakening of divinity by Sayani Chakraborty

It is said that with just the right amount of dedication and devotion, you can make the heaven above come down to earth with your art. According to Hindu mythology many Hindu Gods have turned to classical dancing to express various emotions. Classical dance hence has a holy connotation in the Hindu religion. It is hard to dance so passionately that you end up matching the beats like a divine entity. But many mortals have managed to come close to it if not perfectly at par with the divinity when it comes to their passion for dance. And in this classical piece choreographed and performed by Sayani Chakraborty, she becomes one such mortal. With perfect lighting and emotions, Chakraborty brings to life the awakening of Goddess Kaali. The smooth yet sharp steps are bound to leave any classical dance lover spellbound.

Credits: YouTube (Sayani Chakraborty)

Sandinchane by Surabhi Bharadwaj

Beautifully performed by Surabhi Bharadwaj, this Indian classical dance piece will leave you feeling cheerful and bubbly. A graceful piece it is filled with distinct eye expressions and light steps. From start to finish, Bharadwaj remains in character and performs with ease and elegance. The perfect lighting and attire act as the cherry on top. The swift move and long gaze will surely charm any viewer. A classical piece to relish when you just want to lift your spirits up.

Credits: YouTube (Surabhi Bharadwaj)

Veera Raja Veera by Abirami, Arti, Niveda, and Sindhu

Choreographed and performed by Abirami Murugappan, Arti Alagappan, Niveda Subramanian, and Sindhu Senthilkumar, this Indian classical dance piece is the perfect mix of calmness with energy. Complete with a serene background and bright outfits the performance aptly conveys the emotions of the songs. The good mix of light and heavy steps will surely make a viewer want more.

Credits: YouTube (Abirami Murugappan)

Kathak on Thali by Tanmoyee Chakraborty

Indian classical dance forms are considered to be one of the toughest dance forms to master in the world. Imagine mastering one on the brim of a brass plate. Sounds impossible? But is actually not so uncommon. Popularised by legendary Kathak artists of Benaras Gharana, this form of Kathak is actually quite difficult to master. But the ease with which Tanmoyee Chakraborty matches each beat to her thali and ghungroo will surely make you gaze in awe. The grace with which she turns and expresses each emotion without showing a flicker of discomfort will make any viewer give her a standing ovation.

Credits: YouTube (Tanmoyee Chakraborty)

Hope you enjoyed them as much as we did curating them for you!

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Rhythmic Choreography, A Perfect Blend Of Music And Dance

A set of beautiful Indian Classical chereography that shows dance as an art form to liberate performing on some beautiful song choices.

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Dance Covers

Dance is cathartic, it liberates. The act of allowing yourself freely moves to the rhythm of music breaks restraints. Classical Indian Dance unlocks the potential within almost encouraging us to let go of inhibitions and aspire to precision. The following set of choreography is performed beautifully with so much effort, meticulously presented for the audience to see the dancers’ potential. The synchronisation achieved blending so well with the music is what will leave you awestruck. Their movements are flawless as they become so fluid performing and doing right justice to songs as well.

Prachi Joshi

Joshi’s choreography of Shankar Mahadevan’s song Breathless will entirely trap them in the realm of intense kathak and lyrical beauty. Prachi’s presence is dominant as she swiftly glides across the stage. The way she expresses herself through her facial expression and the increase in pace as the music elevates also completely keeps you hooked. The storyline, the evident transitions from mundanity to escapism and back at it shows dance as a cathartic form of art.

Credits: YouTube Prachi Joshi

Simran Sivakumar

Team Anartana does a spectacular piece of performance on Dhanashree Thillana blending music and dance. The synchronisation between all dancers performing this classical piece is immaculate. Adored in black and gold jewellery the blend we see between them as they manage to move along every beat is so appealing to the audience. The choreography paces according to the highs and lows of music with intense dance formation as a group. The coordination achieved almost feels unreal when they start looking like an entity distributed in different bodies. The way they facially express themselves making sure to portray what the music conveys is an art form on its own.

Credits: YouTube Simran Sivakumar

Beatles Entertainment

Drishya Raj gliding swiftly across the white tiles on the song Ore Piya will completely captivate you. Her subtle movement as she adapts easily to the lyrical composition of the song is spectacular. The white backdrop and her being so fluid with her movements looks like a piece meant to be cherished in peace. Her classical dance moulds according to the rhythm of songs. Drishya’s face as she depicts her performance makes it difficult to look beyond anything but her. A rhythmic dance aligning so well with the song shows the mastery of choreography.

Credits: YouTube Beatles Entertainment

Anu Ajikumar

The sheer joy is visible on the faces of the trio when they dance. The consistency they have throughout the dance will definitely keep you hooked. Every individual seems to be in their element performing their moves and making pleasing formations as well. The blending of their gungrus with the beats of songs shows precision. Their performance is so clean and well executed, your eyes almost glance at every dancer even if the union is shown beautifully. On the terrace, a tad windy weather just adds and builds up the performance better. Dheem To Dare is an iconic song and this unit does justice to it at its full capacity. Watch the mesmerizing performance here.

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Fusion Dance Covers by Budding Artists

Presenting an account of some enthralling fusion dance performances by the talented young generation of India, check them out!

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indian Dance, Fusion Dance

Dance is said to be a language of the soul. With a plethora of dance forms existing in India, what could be better than a fusion of them! Fusion dance is a type of dance that combines elements from two or more dance styles or traditions. Overall, fusion dance is a versatile and dynamic form of dance that allows for creativity and expression through the blending of different styles and traditions. We proudly bring to you some amazing fusion dance performances that blend classical Indian dance forms into a unique and creative routine. These emerging artists are making it the talk of the town. Don’t miss to check out these performances and swoon to the tunes.

‘Mitwa’ Cover by Bhavya Jain

This dance cover on ‘Mitwa’ by the tremendous trio Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy is a sight to behold. Choreographed and performed by Bhavya Jain and Mansa Gautam, the performance will leave you awestruck. I bet you won’t have seen such a commendable fusion of Bharatanatyam from South India and Kathak from North India. 

Credits – YouTube (Bhavya Jain)

‘Mere Dholna’ Cover by Kathakars Nz

You all must remember ‘Maunjulika’ played by Vidya Balan in Bhool Bhulaiya. Of course you couldn’t miss out on her iconic classical dance performance on ‘Mere Dholna’. But this dance cover by Charu and Shamayita can make you all praises for the fusion of Kathak and Bharatanatyam. This literally made us say ‘Kashmir tu main Kanyakumari, North South ki dekho mit gyi duri hee saari!

Credits – YouTube (Kathakars Nz)

‘Ghar More Pardesiya’ Cover by Mansi Modi

Here is another fusion dance performance blurring the lines between Kathak and Bharatanaytam. Personifying their names Manasi Karni and Mansi Modi succeed in making their heart’s voice heard through their choreography on ‘Ghar More Pardesiya’. Sung by the very talented Shreya Ghoshal, the song falls in place beautifully with the well synchronized moves.

Credits – YouTube (Mansi Modi)

‘Dheem Ta Dare’ Cover by KathakBeats

India is a land of gems, both metaphorically and really. Making it evident here is a power packed energetic fusion dance performance by Apurva Dani and Sanika Prabhu. The coming together of Kathak with Odissi dance forms puts up a perfectly curated and combined show. Not to forget the vibe and zeal of the song ‘Dheem Ta Dare’ that it brings on board with itself.

Credits – YouTube (KathakBeats)
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women in music, Indian musicians, Women in Indian music
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