My Guruma, Mrs. Aarti Mishra, is a talented Kathak dancer, and has trained and instructed numerous young as well as old students in Kathak Dance. Although she was born into a musical family of the Banaras Gharana, she was more inclined to the Jaipur Gharana’s style of Kathak, which she accomplished under the training of her Guru, Smt. Uma Dogra, a renowned Kathak expert in the Jaipur Gharana.
Mrs. Aarti Mishra has passed Sangeet Prabhakar in Kathak from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. She has performed in various cities across the globe, primarily in India. Apart from Kathak, she is well versed in playing the Tabla as well, and was awarded a Gold Medal in Tabla from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. Mrs. Aarti Mishra is now a highly acclaimed instructor of Kathak Dance, and she continues to perform in various cultural programs across India.
I have been learning the art of Kathak with my guruma’s guidance for the past 10 years. The depth of the relationship I have with her extends far beyond one between a teacher and a student, as she has become like a member of my family.
The inspiration I have sought from her not only includes the technicalities of Kathak, but also the morals and values of a good human being. Throughout this decade long journey in Kathak, I believe we have truly upheld the values of the guru shishya parampara, which is one of the defining aspects of Kathak, and most classical Indian dance forms.
In terms of Kathak, my guruma’s attention to each and every detail, from facial expressions to footwork, and her unquestionable grace have motivated me to constantly work on my skills as a Kathak dancer, in the hopes of trying to emulate her. Her in-depth knowledge of the religious meaning and significance of all the tukdas have broadened my perspective on Kathak, and increased my appreciation of it.
Further, my Guru was the person who helped me come out of my shell and gain the confidence of an experienced Kathak dancer. It is needless to say that without her guidance, my journey in Kathak would not have been as expansive, or enriched, as it is now.
In terms of emotional guidance, Ms. Aarti has been integral in my development as a young woman. Being a true patriot of India, Ms. Aarti has always imparted the values that Indian culture has to offer. With this, I have grown as an individual, who has a deeper connection with her roots. One of the main things I have learned from my guru is having respect for all human beings, regardless of their background. Her fun loving nature has always cheered me up in the worst of times.
For all the contributions she has made to my life, I have a deep sense of gratitude for my guru, and I hope to take her name forward in my future endeavors as a dancer, and as a human being.