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'I dance in surrender
to Him, to His Glory, to His Love, to His World
with a lilting melody and a strong rhythm...
a dance of separation and union...of hope...
a pattern of light and shade...
the fire of the eternal dance of moth.'

MANJARI CHATURVEDI is a leading exponent of the Indian classical dance form of Kathak and Sufi Kathak. She has combined the mysticism of Sufi traditions with classical Indian dance to create a stunning new school of performance called Sufi Kathak.

A danseuse representing Lucknow gharana of Kathak and postgraduate in Environmental Sciences, Manjari embodies the Awadhi ethos, bridging the gap between tradition and modernity. Her performances preserve the doctrine of classical temple and darbari forms, yet they are accessible to audiences across the world.Manjari is trained in classical Kathak by Guru Pandit Arjun Mishra, she developed the detailing of abhinaya –expressions under Smt. Kalanidhi Narayan and Smt. Priyadarshini Govind, and has worked at Nrityagaram in association with Guru Protima Bedi and Guru Kumudini Lakhia. Manjari is an empanelled artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations

Manjari Chaturvedi is the creator and the only performing artist of Sufi Kathak. Manjari is acclaimed for her efforts to create a new classical dance form. Manjari has introduced the mystique of Sufism in dance. Akin to the moving meditation of the whirling dervishes in the Sufi tradition, her unique dance form called Sufi Kathak is representative of the great Sufi traditions of the sub continent.

Sufi Kathak conceptualised and created by Manjari, has taken 12 years of her intense work in Sufi music and Classical dance. Manjari has traveled extensively in countries like Egypt, Krygyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and worked with artists from Iran, Turkey and Morrocco and studied the dance and music forms related with Sufi thought. Sufi Kathak brings out the nuances of Sufi music and poetry through the language of body, which expresses the rapturous heights of spiritual ecstasy.

Manjari, in her peerless journey, seamlessly blends her dance with diverse cross cultural music in exciting collaborations. 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. Sufi Kathak to the Sufi music of Rajasthan, Kashmir, Qawwalli of Awadh, poetry of Bulleh Shah of Punjab and spiritual music of Iran.

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.


© Manjari Chaturvedi 2005 |