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Young Kathak Performer Chahek Ladhani Represents India at Cracovia Danza Festival in Poland

Known as the European capital of culture, Krakow is famous for hosting world's best cultural festival

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Chahek Ladhani is a young kathak performer
Gungroos. Pixabay
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Poland, August 18, 2017: Chahek Ladhani is one of the youngest Indians to represent the country in the 18th edition of Cracovia Danza festival in Krakow, Poland. Chahek along with ten other students of ‘Alkananda Institute of Performing arts‘ had participated by the side of participants from 45 countries presenting their culture.

Known as the European capital of culture, Krakow is famous for hosting world’s best cultural festival.

ALSO READ: Kathakali: Cultural preserver of classic tales

The audience has appreciated the Kathak performance presented by the young participants. The performance was covered by Krakow National TV alongside other reputable media houses, mentioned ANI.

Chahek learned Kathak at the age of four under the guidance of Guru Alaknanda. The persistence and years of continued practice brought her to this global platform.


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Who was Sitara Devi? Google Doodle Celebrates 97th Birth Anniversary of the Kathak Legend

A recipient of Padma Shri, Kalidas Samman, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Nritya Nipuna, Sitara Devi was also an accomplished dancer in many other styles including Bharatanatyam, folk dances of India, Russian ballet and other western forms.

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Sitara Devi
Google doodle for Sitara's Devi's birth anniversary. Google

New Delhi, November 8, 2017 : Search engine Google on Wednesday dedicated its doodle to ‘Nritya Samragini’ Sitara Devi on her 97th birth anniversary.

In the doodle the Kathak legend is seen in a pink costume posing elegantly at the centre of the graphic, with the accompaniments of instruments – ghungroo, tabla and sitar — taking the place of the remaining alphabets in the word ‘google’ .

Who Was Sitara Devi?

The eminent classical dancer was born in 1920 to a Brahmin family from Varanasi living in Kolkata (then Calcutta).

Her father Sukhadev Maharaj was a school teacher but practised and performed Kathak, as well.

Sitara Devi started with solo performances at the tender age of 10.

When her family shifted to Bombay (now Mumbai), she gave a Kathak performance in the Atiya Begum Palace before a select audience, which included Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu and Parsi philanthropist Sir Cowasji Jehangir.

At just 16, Sitara Devi enthralled her audience. So impressed was Tagore with her performance that he gave her the title “Nritya Samragini” (the empress of dance).

Sitara Devi presented Kathak at international venues like the Royal Albert Hall, London, and Carnegie Hall, New York.

She has also been part of many Bollywood movies like “Usha Haran”, “Nagina”, “Roti”, “Vatan”, “Anjali” and “Mother India”.

She has been a mentor to many Bollywood actresses and taught them Kathak. Madhubala, Rekha, Mala Sinha and Kajol are some of them.

A recipient of Padma Shri, Kalidas Samman, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Nritya Nipuna, Sitara Devi was also an accomplished dancer in many other styles including Bharatanatyam, folk dances of India, Russian ballet and other western forms.

After a period of prolonged illness, the Kathak maestro breathed her last on November 25, 2014 at Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai. (IANS)

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