Accompanied by rare photographs, this is a heartfelt tribute to a man who, among his many achievements, has spread awareness about the classical dance form of Kathak, not only in India, but abroad while touching innumerable lives along the way.
This memoir of the legendary Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj presents layers of his personality his simplicity, modesty, generosity as witnessed by one of his foremost disciples, Saswati Sen, who has known him for over forty-five years.
After her initial training under Reba Chatterjee Vidyarthi at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra in New Delhi, she was awarded the National Scholarship in 1969 by the Ministry of Culture. She then graduated to become one of the foremost disciples of Pandit Birju Maharaj.
Even as a child when she was under the tutelage of Reba Didi I could see a commitment in her towards art. Her total dedication and surrender gave me the opportunity to mould her the way a potter moulds clay into a beautiful pot. Taal, ang, abhinaya, in all these facets of dance, she has seen and absorbed my training with thorough and complete understanding. She has trained with me as a performer, a teacher, a choreographer and an adept stage presenter. Her hard work and efforts are now the driving force behind my institute, Kalashram. I am very happy to extend my blessings for the success of this book and its author, my loving disciple, Saswati Sen.
My first dance teacher, Reba Chatterjee Vidyarthy, or Didi, as we called her, was probably the most caring and hardworking teacher for beginners and young aspirants. I was one of her most sincere students. Learning dance gave me great joy. However, the unsettling episode with the 'whispering group' kept repeating itself and soon I began finding ways to avoid class or change my timings or even my route.
In 1969, I was awarded the National Scholarship by the Ministry of Culture and this led me to seriously think about dance as a secondary profession (though my family dreamt of my becoming a doctor).
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (738)
Emperor & Queen (491)
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