Blessings and smiles: Guru Poornima celebrations at Rasik

19th July 2016

Like every year, Guru Jayashree Acharya organised a guru poornima pooja at the Nirvana Country studio in Gurgaon. Following tradition, students paid obeisance to God and Guru alike and anointed their ghunghroos with teeka and flowers as they prayed for another year of inspiration and learning. It was easy to sense to excitement of the girls, all decked up in their best Indian clothes, and it was touching to see the special efforts they had made to make the occasion special.

Celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Ashadha, this is a day to pay respects and express gratitude to spiritual gurus. The tradition extends to academic teachers and is robustly observed by practitioners of Indian classical arts, including kathak. Lord Buddha is believed to have given his first sermon on this day, at Sarnath, just outside Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

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Rasik baithak showcases upcoming talent in Hindustani gayaki: 7th May 2016

Rasik Performing Arts continued its tradition of organising intimate baithaks. With Rasrang, held on 7th May 2016, our studio in Nirvana Country, Gurgaon saw the focus shift to Hindustani classical music with the showcasing of a phenomenal new talent. Upcoming artist Ramakant Gaikwad of the Patiyala gharana, son of well-known artists Shri Suryakant Gaikwad and Shrimati Sangita Gaikwad, presented an impressive range of items carefully chosen from the repertoire handed down to him by the great gurus of the gharana.

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IMG_9328 IMG_9325 IMG_9329 Not yet 30 years old, Ramakant’s youth belies his tremendous talent and dedication to his art form. This was evident as he vowed the audience with his gayaki. Accompanied by renowned tabla artist Shiv Shankar Ray as well as Paromita Banerjee on the harmonium, Ramakant presented a range of items including vilambit in Raag Yaman, thumriMein bhej piya pachhtayi’ in Raag Mishra Bageshri, and bhajan ‘sadho rachna ran banai’, finishing with the popular bandish ‘ka karun sajnaa aaye na baalam’.

Baithaks such as this one are held regularly by Rasik Performing Arts in an attempt to popularize Indian classical music and dance among contemporary audiences that are more attuned to commercial forms of entertainment. Founders Jayashree Acharya and Shiv Shankar Ray have worked hard at nurturing a passionate group of those who enjoy and appreciate the classical arts through regular kathak classes, workshops and baithaks in Gurgaon. The aim is to offer the opportunity for young people to have meaningful and intense artistic engagements while also preserving these important aspects of Indian culture.

Baithak on 16 April wows audiences, brings kathak within reach

The sweltering heat of a particularly warm mid-April afternoon was no deterrent to the enthusiasm of Guru Jayashree Acharya’s students as they flitted about in excitement. As guests trickled in, senior students worked to get their guru behen Mahika Zutshi ready for her manch pravesh. Someone adjusted her dupatta, another one fixed her maang teeka and ensured the last strands of straying hair went into place.

The evening began with the younger ones, all dressed in pristine white, presenting small pieces, an evocation to the Gods, a short tarana, some technical rhythms. And then, Mahika enchanted the audience with her strong technical skills and a sincere attempt at abhinaya in the popular and beloved thumri, ‘Meri Suno Shyam’. With her guru and guru behen Mahika Nair on padhant, Shiv Shankar Ray on tabla, Pratip Banerjee on vocals and harmonium and Chandrachur Bhattacharya on sitar, Mahika was able to confidently demonstrate the nuances and intricacies of her art form. Her presentation of the complex 14-beat dhamaar was particularly appreciated.

IMG_9073 IMG_9074IMG_9081Our guest artist Ritesh Sharma represents the rarely experiences Raigarh gharana of kathak. He presented unusual lyrical and technical compositions, offering a historic background to the development of the gharana and its unusual emphasis on poetry. Riteshji teaches dance in Bhagalpur and is passionate about reviving the classical arts in small town India, among young girls and boys. Riteshji was accompanied on tabla by Utpal Ghosh, with vocals support from Pratipji, sitar accompaniment by Chandarchurji and padhant by Jayashreeji.

IMG_9076 IMG_9077The evening was graced by none other than Shri Krishna Mohan Mishraji, a renowned kathak artist and guru, who encouraged the young dancers and also their parents to remain patient in the acquisition of knowledge and skills within the classical arts.

IMG_9078 IMG_9080 Rasik Performing Arts is gratified to have successfully brought another evening of kathak to art lovers in Gurgaon in the intimate baithak format that facilitate deeper appreciation and learning of the art form’s history and practice. We are blessed to have the patronage of senior artists and gurus in all our endeavours.

Read media coverage on the baithak here.

Photo credits: Anandi Ray, Shruti Dewan

Dainik Jagran covers Rasik baithak, 16 Apr2016

Rasik performing Arts organised a baithak on 16 April 2016, where students of Jayashree Acharyaji performed. Her senior student Mahika Zutshi presented her first solo, usually known as a manch pravesh in kathak tradition, showcasing her technical prowess. Guest artist Ritesh Sharma from the Raigarh gharana of kathak offered new insights into the history and development of the classical art form and vowed the audiences with his abhinaya and lyrical compositions.

Read the media coverage of the baithak here.

 

Prayas 2016 a resounding success

Coinciding with Republic Day, one of India’s three national holidays and one dedicated to celebrating our democratic Constitution, the talented dancers of Rasik Performing Arts presented its annual show in Epicentre, Gurgaon. For our dancers, Prayas 2016 was a culmination of a year’s learning under the gracious guidance of Guru Jayashree Acharya.

The blessed presence of Pandit Birju Mahahrajji at our show filled the atmosphere with a special electric charge. We all felt it and we hope our performances did justice to his great art and all-encompassing love and mentorship. Over 85 young dancers performed under Rasik’s banner during the evening, bringing a variety of items to a packed hall of rasiks and well wishers.

We were also honoured to have guests artists, dancers from Aakriti Foundation trained under Smt Sushmita Ghosh and eminent instrumental musicians Madhu Gopal, Goutam, Sunnu and Shiv Shankar perform at Prayas 2016.

Catch a few glimpses from Prayas 2016 below. We will post videos soon!

Pt. Birju Maharajji inaugurating Prayas 2016 and blessing all of us present Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanti

Pt. Birju Maharajji inaugurating Prayas 2016 and blessing all of us present
Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

Our youngest dancers presenting Guru Vandana Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

Our youngest dancers- Aparna, Bhuvi, Samaira, Shambhavi, Yavi, Meher, Yuvika, Raima, Pari and Panchhi- presenting ‘Guru Vandana’, an invocation to Goddess Saraswati
Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

‘Akaash’ by Mahi, Sneha, Ishita, Vrinda, Krisha, Anvi, Saraa, Suhani, Varaa, Eesha, Samaira, Shriya, Stuti, Manya, Lavanya, Kimaya, Ishita, Navya, Ashi, Adya, and Tishya Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

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Shuddha Nirtya in Jhaptaal by Anuradha, Anya, Arshiya, Arushi, Arzoo, Ashley, Dhrity, Eesha, Joanna, Malvika, Katya, Nandini, Nishtha, Panya, Riya, Sanjana, Nayanika, Sifat, Suhani, and Vidushi                                                                                                                                                            Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

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Sargam in Bilawal by Anya, Ashna, Aditi, Elaina, Anahita, Anushka, Devina, Khushi, Mihika, Mansi, Palak, Simran, Tisha, Vedanshi, and Vritika                                                                             Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

Thumri- 'Dekho ri langar' by Shruti, Saumya, Simran and Mukta Photo credit- Prasad Siddhanthi

Thumri- ‘Dekho ri langar’ by Shruti, Saumya, Simran and Mukta
Photo credit- Prasad Siddhanthi

Guru Jayashree Acharya Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

Guru Jayashree Acharya
Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

Jog tarana, Composed by Prateep Banerjee Anandi, Mahika Nair, Mahika Zutshi, Devyani, Ketaki, Nandini, Revati, Shubhangini, Saloni Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

Jog tarana, Composed by Prateep Banerjee
Anandi, Mahika Nair, Mahika Zutshi, Devyani, Ketaki, Nandini, Revati, Shubhangini, Saloni
Photo credit: Prasad Siddhanthi

Chaturang, including 4 elementsof dance, percussion, sahitya, and gaana Dancers- Anya, Anumita, Anusha, Riya, Nandini, Yukti, Vaidehi, Khushi Photo: Prasad Siddhanthi

Chaturang, including 4 elements of dance, percussion, sahitya, and gaana
Dancers- Anya, Anumita, Anusha, Riya, Nandini, Yukti, Vaidehi, Khushi
Photo: Prasad Siddhanthi

'Madhav'. A Krishna Bhajan by Anandi, Mahika Nair, Mahika Zutshi, Devyani, Ketaki, Nandini, Revati, Shubhangini, Saloni Photo credit- Prasad Siddhanthi

‘Madhav’. A Krishna Bhajan by Anandi, Mahika Nair, Mahika Zutshi, Devyani, Ketaki, Nandini, Revati, Shubhangini, Saloni
Photo credit- Prasad Siddhanthi

Jayashree Acharya and students perform ‘Nritya Rang’ in London

In July 2015, Guru Jayashree Acharya and her students were invited to perform at the Nehru Centre in London. Jayashreeji is no stranger to London’s cultural afficionados, having taught at the Bharatiya Vidya bhawan in London for many years. Many who knew her welcomed her re-entry on London’s stage with great joy.

Accomplished and confident, the four young dancers- Mahika Nair, Shubhangini, Anandi Ray and Mahika Zutshi- enthralled the audience with their impeccable tayyari and confidence. Their presentation of items typical of the Lucknow gharana was a visual treat for London’s kathak lovers.

Scroll down for videos of Jayashreeji’s TV interview

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Kathak at Raahgiri, Gurgaon

Taking kathak from the hallowed spaces of the auditoria and academies to the streets is no mean achievement. Four enthusiastic young girls, under the guidance of their guru Jayashree Acharya, did just that at Raahgiri, Gurgaon’s celebration of car-free streets every Sunday.

Their short but beautiful kathak performance on the occasion of International Women’s Day was appreciated by a large crowd from different walks of life. Many were watching kathak for the very first time. Read a more detailed account here._DSC9315_1024 _DSC9380_1024 8March2015-raahgiri