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 heads the Dept. of Dance of Rabindra Bharati University.
She has received exclusive training in Chhau dance of Purulia Kushan,
Bishohara and Nachni, Kirtan Nritya from renowned gurus in those
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. Presently, she is devoted to reviving this
dance form i.e.Gaudiya Nritya and is supported in her cause by her
husband Amitabha Mukherjee.
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 shringaar 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
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."
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
"Dance of the Gods" on her work Gaudiya Nritya has been made by
the Films Division, Human Resource Development, Govt. of India.