"Oh King, the Kathakas, the ascetics and the brahmins sweetly recite the divine stories". - Mahabharata: Adiparva

It was the coming together of like-minded persons with one basic objective in mind – the furtherment and propagation of traditional Indian values through Indian music and dance. The idea germinated into the formation of ‘South Jodhpur Park Academy’ (SJPA) in the year 2003 and later formally registered under Societies Act. "RIG-Chhandam" is our cultural wing. The Academy members felt highly honoured to have renowned Rabindrasangeet exponent, Shrimati Srabani Sen as its President, with the expectation that under her able guidance, we would be able to make progress in the right direction, so that we could fulfill our designated objectives and aspirations.

Classes were started at 70B Jodhpur Park, Kolkata- 700 068, Rabindrasangeet classes being supervised by Shrimati Srabani Sen. The Dance Section was being looked after by Mrs. Subhra Mandal, disciple of Kathak legend Birju Maharaj as well as of Shrimati Amala Shankar, the doyen of the Uday Shankar ‘Creative’ style of dance.

Some words about Kathak, one of the foremost classical dance styles of India: Kathak is a classical dance style of northern India. Kathak derives its name from the word Katha, which means the art of story-telling. The Kathak dancer was originally a story-teller, conveying the ancient stories and legends of Hindu mythology in the temples of the Braj region.
With the coming of the Moghul emperors and the influence of Islamic culture, the content and presentation of Kathak dance changed and developed, being introduced as a form of entertainment in the courts and evolving into a pure dance form.
Kathak is characterised by fast spins, by finely detailed movements and by intricate footwork, which is enhanced by the sound of more then 100 ankle bells. Passages of dramatic interpretation based on themes from Persian and Urdu poetry exist alongside the dances of Hindu mythology.

An introduction to the Udayshankar Creative style of dance: Uday Shankar the pioneer of contemporary dance in India, and a world renowned choreographer and dancer, was most known for adapting Western theatrical techniques to traditional dance styles of India, imbued with elements of Indian classical, folk, and tribal dance, thus laying the roots of modern Indian dance, which he later popularized in India, Europe, and the United States in 1920s and 1930s and effectively placed this emerging dance form of that time, on the world map.

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