Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla on Tuesday inaugurated the two-day Kathak Utsav at the auditorium of Manipur Film Development Society, Palace Gate in Imphal. The festival has been organized by the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi in collaboration with the Jawarharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal.

Terming the festival as the right platform for the local Kathak dancers to showcase their talents to the world, the Governor said, “It is a celebration of the performing arts that bring together legendary artistes, dance lovers, scholars and connoisseurs through dance performances, seminars, lectures and debates.”

Najma Heptulla narrated that Kathak dance evolved during the Bhakti Movement, particularly by incorporating the childhood stories of Lord Krishna, as well as independently in the courts of North Indian kingdoms. “Wandering Kathakas communicated stories from the great epics and ancient mythology through dance, songs and music in a manner similar to early Greek theatre,” she said.

She also lauded the tireless efforts of the Kendra in promoting & disseminating this art form adding that it will go a long way in popularizing and perpetuating this rich heritage.

Drawing attention to the discovery of new things each time she comes to Imphal, veteran dancer Kamalini Asthana, representing the Benaras Gharana of Kathak, shared her views that they can develop stronger ties and brotherhood with Manipur by conducting such festivals more often.

The organizers informed that Manipuri dance and music will be showcased at Raipur and other places of India in throughout this month.

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