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Samanaya “Coming Together” is an exceptional celebration of life event on Saturday May 13th & Sunday May 14th at the Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College (4pm-9 pm PST). The event celebrates the memory of legendary Kathak exponent, late Padma Vibhushan Pt. Birju Maharaj, showcasing his enduring legacy and mastery over the ancient Indian dance form.
This spectacular production hosted by Bay Area’s Tarangini School of Kathak Dance on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. Samanaya is a rare treat showcasing 200+ Tarangini students and eminent Kathak dancers from India.
Performances will begin with two distinct collections of songs depicting the various attributes of Lord Krishna, presented by Tarangini’s students. In the next segment, Tarangini’s senior dancers and Artistic Director Smt. Anuradha Nag will present ‘Krishna-Viraha-Sphurti’, exploring the three phases of life in Vrindavan: the joy of togetherness with Krishna, the sorrow and ‘viraha’ experienced in his absence, ending with the ultimate liberation of Radha and the gopis in Krishna Samadhi – achieving a state of pure bhakti.
The evening will culminate in a resplendent performance: ‘Anubandhana.’
On Saturday, Ragini Maharaj of Lucknow gharana, Durgesh Gangani of Jaipur gharana, and Vishal Krishna of Banaras gharana unite the three most prominent Kathak gharanas and their rich cultural beauty, intricacies, and lineages into the oneness of Kathak.
Sunday evening will conclude with performances by two luminaries of the Lucknow gharana: Vidushi Saswati Sen and Mamta Maharaj.
Mamta Maharaj is Pandit Birju Maharaj’s only daughter to adopt the dance form as a profession. She is among the first women artists from the Lucknow gharana and has carried on her father’s heritage, teaching at Kalashram for over 25 years.
Vidushi Saswati Sen was Birju Maharaj’s foremost disciple, master teacher, and choreographer for over 50 years. She is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Lifetime Achievement award. Her remarkable contributions to the entire Kathak community through awareness and education about the techniques and repertoire have extended Pandit Birju Maharaj’s legacy and given his students resources to continue perfecting the art form.
Ragini Maharaj is a prolific international performer and one of the youngest members of Birju Maharaj’s family lineage (9th generation). She grew up under the tutelage of her grandfather, her aunt, Mamta Maharaj, and her father, Deepak Maharaj.
Vishal Krishna is a 4th generation dancer of the Banaras gharana, anchored in the legacy of his grandmother, Padmishri Sitara Devi and his uncle, the renowned maestro Pandit Gopi Krishna.
Durgesh Gangani is the youngest recipient of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Award (national award given to artists under 40 by the Sangeet Natak Akademi). He carries the heritage of the Jaipur gharana of Kathak, passed down to him from his grandfather, the late Pandit Sundarlal Gangani and his father, Pandit Jagdish Gangani.
The artists draw from their unique individual dance heritage to bring a rare collaboration and comparison of the three most recognized gharanas of Kathak.
Anuradha Nag established Tarangini School of Kathak Dance San Jose, California in 1992. She received her training under the tutelage of Nataraj Parimal Krishna and then Padma Vibhushan Pt. Birju Maharaj and his foremost disciple Pandit Vijai Shankar. She advanced her abhinaya training from Padmabhushan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan. Simnce then, Tarangini has been a renowned institution of learning that promotes awareness and preservation of the rich heritage of Kathak dance. Students have performed at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, the International Kathak Festival in San Francisco, and Chicago.
‘Samanaya’ brings together the best Kathak talent from across the globe and promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone who is inspired by classical Indian dance.