Kathak dancer Adittee Bhagwat is the sole Indian representative at a prestigious fellowship programme in the US
As a baby,Kathak danseuse Adittee Bhagwat would move her body according to the rhythms of her mothers riyaz every morning. This made classical singer Ragini Bhagwat realise that her daughter had dancing genes in her. She took the three-year-old to Roshan Kumari,a renowned kathak guru from Jaipur Gharana.
Overwhelmed with her new surroundings at the class,little Adittee would just stand in a corner and look at the older girls perform. After a year of keen observation,she started picking up the footwork and mudras. Once I picked up the basics,the world became my stage, recalls Adittee,who has now been conferred with the One Bit Fellowship approved by the Educational and Cultural Activities Department of the US for a 45-day programme of culture and performing arts,which is being held in Florida and New York City. Mumbai-based Bhagwat is the sole representative from India.
The programme features 30 artistes from different countries who will give lecture-demonstrations on cultural art forms to students from various colleges in the US.
When she was all of 16,Adittee performed at the felicitation ceremony of the-then Maharashtra Governor,P C Alexander. After studying psychology from the Mumbai University,she pursued masters in dance from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Mumbai. Her resume boasts some interesting work such as a jazz-kathak fusion with Louiz Banks,dance therapy workshops for sex workers and playing the lead role in Marathi film Chalu Nvara Bholi Bayko (2008).
Even though I am a classical dancer,when I dance with the ghungroos on,I also play the role of a music composer. The ghungroos make music according to my dance moves,and this is called tatkar, says the 29-year-old.
The fellowship,says Adittee,happened by chance. During one of her performances in the US last year,few people from the audience came up to her after the show and informed her about the fellowship and convinced her to apply. She applied in February this year. There were endless questionnaires that I had to fill up and send across. It also entailed chains of emails that demanded information about my family,their involvement with traditional performing arts and detailed discussions on the highlights of my career, says Bhagwat.