(Last Updated on : 08/09/2014)
Guru Kundan Lal Gangani, one of the leading exponent and gurus of Jaipur Gharana of Kathak, was born in Sujangarh, in the Churu district of Rajasthan in the year of 1926. His maternal uncle, the celebrated Kathak Guru Shri Narayan Prasad trained him and he gave his first public performance at an early age of barely 8 years and then in the royal court of Raigarh at the age of eleven. He then continued with his performance in the places like Khairagarh, Allahabad, Mumbai, Pune, Baroda, Kanpur and Jaipur and his last public performance was at Jodhpur in 1960. After that he turned his attention exclusively to teaching. He lived and taught in many centers namely Mumbai, Rajkot, Baroda, Jodhpur and Delhi.
Guru Kundan Lal gave equal importance to the lasya and the tandava ang of dance and, therefore, he also gave emphasis on abhinaya. He introduced new gats in vilambit laya and joined them into parans to create new and unique compositions. He also created numerous new bols, tihais, parans etc. He innovated in performing chalan and qayada as footwork and introduced chhanda at the onset of every thumri. He firmly believed in Kathak as a solo dance and always strived in his training to produce, above all, solo performers. He was a brilliant tabla player as well. He joined Kathak Kendra in 1970 as a Guru and taught here till he breathed his last on 16th July 1984.