Source: The Hindu; Author: Veejay Sai; Photo Courtesy: Veejay Sai

Welcoming the Monsoon is an ancient custom among the north Indian communities. For the first time after decades, at the silver jubilee celebrations of Natya Institute, India’s first and only place that offers a professional degree in Kathak and Choreography, a long lost tradition was revived under the guidance of Dr. Maya Rao, octogenarian matron of Indian classical dance choreography. Poets, musicians, scholars, writers, dancers, gurus, choreographers, administrators, academicians, curators and cultural impresarios and Who’s Who of the city’s art fraternity gathered to commemorate this grand event. With over 200 performers on stage, age ranging from five to fifty, the festivities hit a high note when audiences joined hands to form endless human chains and danced to the traditional folk tunes of ‘Dhimsa,’ the tribal rain dance of Andhra Pradesh.

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Kathak dancer Madhu Natraj performing Begum Akhtar's thumri. Photo: Veejay Sai.