Mahua mukherjee

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Daughter of Sri Khirod Chakraborty & Chabi Chakraborty, wife of Sri Amitabha Mukherjee, Dr. Mahua Mukherjee is an accomplished dancer, teacher, choreographer, researcher and Director of "Gaudiya Bharati" & "Mitrayan". Mahua received her M.Sc, Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Calcutta and now is the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Rabindra Bharati University.[1] She has received exclusive training in Chhau dance of Purulia Kushan, Bishohara and Nachni, Kirtan Nritya from renowned gurus in those particular fields.Dr. Mahua Mukherjee is credited with substantially reviving Gaudiya Nritya, which is recognized as an Indian classical dance form by the Indian Ministry of Culture.[2]

Dance is a science - it is an applied art. Art and science are like a twin brother and sister. It is a theoretical and practical art form. For her, both the faculties complement each other. Hence being a doctorate in Botany made her more theoretical in her approach to dance, says Mukherjee. She devoted to reviving Gaudiya Nritya and is supported in her cause by her husband Amitabha Mukherjee.

"Gaudiya means old Bengal and the Gaudiya Nritya which has its origin in the Natyashastra, vanished from the scene because of lack of patronage and political disturbances. This", says Mukherjee, "can be attributed to the western influences on Bengal. While dance forms like kathak and bharatanatyam flourished, Gaudiya Nritya just disappeared." Mukherjee explains, "Gaudiya Nritya comprises chau which is a heroic dance, nachni which is shringar form, kushan which deals with Luv Kush and has its roots in the Ramayan and the Kirtan, the devotional aspect. Her gurus have been Padmashri Gambhur Singh Mudha for Purulia Chau and Shashi Mahato for Nachni and Kirtannritya from Narattam Sanyal.

She has learnt in the guru-shishya parampara style and tried to imbibe the nuances of the dance form from them. Her performance was based on the drama form, which was a narrative of stories from the mythologies beautifully set to music and aesthetically breathtaking. "Gaudiya Nritya reflects Bengal's physical structure too. The Sunderbans, the paddy fields and the rivers flowing through it and the north, which is rigid because of the Himalaya, characterized old Bengal. Gaudiya Nritya is similar, it's both rigid and flexible". As Mukherjee remarks, "Everything in Bengal is rounded. Even the pronunciation of words is rounded. Similarly, even our dance form is very circular, with plenty of Chakkars."

Some of the many compositions of Gaudiya Nritya to her credit are Vandana, Mangalacharan, Alapchari, Dashavatar, Putana Badh, Mahisasura Mardini, Abhimanyu Badh, Ekalavya's Gurudakshina etc. A documentary Film "Trance in Motion" [3] on her work Gaudiya Nritya has been made by the Films Division, Human Resource Development, Govt. of India.

References