“Manjari dances in surrender to Him, to His Glory, to His Love and to His world
there is an underlying lilting melody and strong rhythm in her dance,
which depicts separation and union, the fire of the eternal dance of moth…”
MANJARI CHATURVEDI is a leading exponent of the Indian classical dance form of Kathak and is acclaimed for being the creator and ONLY performing artist of Sufi Kathak. She has combined the mysticism of Sufi traditions with classical Indian dance to create a stunning new art form called Sufi Kathak. Thus, setting a historical step in the field of performing arts through the creation of a completely new artform, which remains original and yet follows the precedents of mystical traditions that are nearly 700 years old. In the last decade, Manjari has performed in more than 200 concerts all over the world including Europe (France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, U.K. & Ireland), the Middle East (Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait), South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka) and Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan) along with Australia and America.
Manjari Chaturvedi is the creator and the only performing artist of Sufi Kathak. Conceptualised and created by Manjari, Sufi Kathak has taken 13 years of her intense work in Sufi music and classical dance. Introducing the mystique of Sufism in dance, she traveled to countries like Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan and worked with artists from Iran, Turkey and Morocco to study the music and dance forms related with Sufi thought. Bred of Manjari’s knowledge and experience, Sufi Kathak melds the philosophical depth of Sufi poetry with the narrative beauty and grace of classical Indian dance forms to evolve a new school of performance that uses classical dance to narrate and interpret Sufi poetry.
Sufi Kathak is a dance form that spans from earthly romance of Hindi folk to the evolved Sufi imagery of love in Persian poetry, from a beloved in flesh and blood to the abstract presence of the Almighty, from a form to formlessness. Making Sufi Kathak, the Dance of the Soul. While in existing classical Indian dance forms there is a focus on a beloved in flesh and blood, in physical form, it is the abstract presence of the Almighty that becomes the focal point for the Sufi Kathak dancer. Akin to the moving meditation of the whirling dervishes in the Sufi tradition, the unique dance form called Sufi Kathak by Manjari Chaturvedi is representative of the great Sufi traditions of the subcontinent. Manjari, in her peerless journey, seamlessly blends her dance with diverse cross cultural music in exciting collaborations. She was trained in classical Kathak dance of Lucknow gharana, and then subsequently learnt the nuances of other classical Indian dance forms – the base being the natya shastra – that is followed by all classical dances. Manjari trained in Abhinaya learning the nuances of use of mudras from the bhartanatyam genre to enrich Sufi Kathak. With her own efforts, Manjari has made the dance form richer by adding new dimensions to the dance form with varying music creating a wide repertoire, which was earlier never a part of any classical dance traditions by aligning Sufi Kathak with the Sufi music of Rajasthan, Kashmir, Qawwalli of Awadh, poetry of Bulleh Shah of Punjab and spiritual music of Iran.
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