(Last Updated on : 26-07-2014)
Kumudini Lakhia has dedicated her lifetime to the Indian Classical dance form Kathak. Her commitment towards Kathak eventually led her to the celestial point, reaching which has always been a dream for the aspiring dancers. Many dancers who have trained under her great tutelage became well accomplished dancer. They have been benefited with the artistic vision of Kumudini Lakhia that she used to implement in her chorographical work. Her 'imaginative exploring of the Kathak' helped the traditional dance form to evolve beyond a typical style. The style became a style of "artistic value". Through her work she puts minimal importance to 'costuming, lighting and set designing', which gives her work an elegance that is sophisticated in nature.
Kumudini Lakhia was born in the year 1930. With Ram Gopal, Kumudini Lakhia started her dancing career. Ram Gopal to spread the traditional Indian dance began to tour the West. That was for the first time the western people came to explore the Indian heritage in the art form of dance. During that tour Kumudini Lakhia raised to a worthy dancer and choreographer to her own credit. Before that Kumudini Lakhia underwent training under the banner of Jaipur Gharana. Then after she has bagged the honor of being trained under the great tutelage of legendary Shambhu Maharaj.
Kumudini Lakhia possesses an innate talent for dance, dancer as well as choreographer. She, during her days as choreographer, always attempted to incorporate some fresh and innovative ideas into her works. Without losing the traditional essence of the dance form, Kumudini Lakhia in an innovative way uses the performance space. Dhabkar (Pulse), Yugal (The Duet), and Atah Kim (Where Now?) are some famous choreography produced by Kumidini Lakhia. The Kathak Dnace in each of these performances were presented in a way that never took place before that. Her choreographic pieces have always been appreciated for their classicism. Even though the innovations she incorporated within the dance form eventually became the attributes of this traditional dance form. Today people recognize these attributes of Kathak as the traditional one.
Kumudini Lakhia has trained noteworthy Kathak dancers namely Maulik Shah, Aditi Mangaldas, Parul Shah, Daksha Sheth, Anjali Patil and Ishira Parikh. They have also fetched international acclamation too. Acknowledging her talent, governement of India has conferred her one of the highest prestigious civilion award 'padmashree' in the year 1987.
Kumudini Lakhia has founded 'Kadamb' a well known Kathak Institution based in Ahmedabad, India in the year 1967. the main aim of the dance school is to promote the traditional old dance form Kathak. Today this institution imparts training in kathak with a holistic view of Kathak. The group of Kadamb has executed several dance performances throughout the world. The counties where they performed includes: USA, UK,USSR, sweden, Germany, Seychelles, Portugal, Indonesia, Thailand, Mongolia, China, Korea, Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.