20 October 2022 /
ANTARA DATTA / ARTIST /
On the eve of 24 September 2022, at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts in Cleveland, Ohio, ANGA KALA KATHAK ACADEMY and ARTS WITHOUT BORDERS put up a brilliant and very successful in-house dance production called Yatra-the journey.
The event was a culmination of a four-year long patient wait and came together through the robust and enthusiastic collaboration of a whole community of students, parents, professionals and volunteers from all walks of life.
Guruji Pandit Divang Vakil, one of Kathak dancer Antara Datta’s Gurus was present to bless the performers and grace the occasion.
The dances were presented in two parts with an intermission between them. The first part mostly celebrated and showcased the talent and hard work of students at different levels of training under “Antara Didi”.
In the second half, Guru Antara Datta enthralled and mesmerized the audience by presenting a varied palette of performances displaying a complex equation of rhythm and a mastery of technique and expression.
Her solo performances titled Gauri Suta and Taal and Laya Vidhi were a tight interplay between her and the three highly accomplished musicians on stage – Mike Lukshis on the Tabla, Hans Utter on the Sitar and Ariban Bhattacharya, the mellifluous vocalist.
The show-stealer that night was undoubtedly the renowned Kathak dancer Antara Datta’s poignant portrayal of a lover’s emotions and her aching heart from the fear of separation performed to the soulful and melodious, yet complex and abstract ghazal “Aaj Jaane ki Zid na Karo”.
With the use of abhinaya combined with a simple turn of the head, lift of the eyebrows or roll of the wrist, she imbued meaning to the metaphors and evoked a cathartic response in her audience.
Another highlight of the show was TamoYug – dark era, a production on the pandemic that she performed along with her students.
The final performance of the show was one such collaboration between the Kathak dancer Antara Datta and Kuchipudi exponents Kalyani Veturi and Sudha Totapally.
This evening will certainly be etched in the memories of those who were present as an enchanting, enthralling and emotional evening.
Antara Datta started learning Kathak at the tender age of five and her first guru was Anuradha Nag and after that from Srimati Laxmi Bannerjee in Kolkata, India.
She holds a double diploma in Kathak from the Bangiya Sangeet Parishad in Kolkata and the Prayag Sangeet Samiti in Allahabad, India.
She received advanced training in the Lucknow gharana of Kathak from “Sringar Mani“ Srimati Anuradha Nag (Artistic director of the Tarangini School of dance, San Jose, California).
To hone her skills further Antara Datta also receives training from Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj and Vidushi Saswati Sen during her annual trips to India at Kalashram, New Delhi.
In addition, she regularly visits Mahagami , a dance Gurukul in Aurangabad, India to receive intensive training from Guru Parwati Datta.
Antara Datta receives Taal Vidya training from Guruji Pandit Divvang Vakil.
The renowned dancer Antara Datta has performed extensively in both India and abroad and is the Artistic Director of Anga Kala Kathak Academy and Anga Kala Dance Company. She also serves as the President of Arts Without Borders.
She taught Kathak as an adjunct faculty in Cornish College of Arts Seattle, WA in 2010, Kent State University Kent in Winter 2014 and University of Akron, OH in Winter 2017.
The Anga Kala Kathak Academy was founded for imparting an exceptional training in the classical art form Kathak and to enrich our community the rich traditions and culture of this ancient art-form. Anga Kala Kathak Academy’s mission is to popularize Kathak all across the world.
Content & Images credit: Anga Kala Kathak Academy