Home >> Profile

Profile

Born into the family of the legendary Hindu philosopher of Vedanta, Swami Ram Tirtha, Divya stands today as an artist anchored to the roots of traditional dance forms. Hailing from this great lineage of the enlightened mystic, mathematician, yogi, philosopher and writer, Divya aims to tread this supreme yet simple art of living, following with complete devotion this journey into Indian Classical Arts. She is also blessed to be a direct descendant from her maternal family, the great shayar-philosopher of Punjab, Pandit Kirpa Ram Sharma ‘Nazim’.

Carrying this rich tradition into her works, Divya stands still in her belief that Indian classical art forms and Kathak in particular, takes us closer to our core, our inner self and is a medium for self evolvement. Hence, her compositions are steeped in deep understanding of history, mythology and spirituality. In these fast changing times, she holds close the concept of spiritual, emotional and intellectual growth, keeping Indian Classical Arts at the very core.

Divya was initiated into the Lucknow Gharana of Kathak under the able guidance of Guru Yogini Gandhi, at the Kalanidhi Institute, Pune where she learnt for over fifteen years. Since many years now, Divya continues to learn under the tutelage of the Great Maestro of Lucknow Gharana, Guru Munna Shukla Ji. Having a good command over both, the rhythmic (nritta) and emotive (nritya) aspects, she has been performing as well as imparting training to students for over fifteen years. She has performed at numerous concerts and lecture demonstrations in India and abroad.

Multifaceted, her passionate appreciation of traditional art forms has led her to focus her talent in dance, art, drama and creative therapy. Divya’s compositions are steeped in deep understanding of history, mythology and spirituality. In essence today, she harnesses her talent to express the art forms in a meditative performance of dance.


My Gurus


Guru Yogini Gandhi

smt yogini gandhi

A rare combination of talent, intellect and beauty, Yogini is amongst the very few dancers who perform two Indian classical dance styles - Kathak & Odissi with equal dexterity and virtuosity. She has received guidance from India’s legendary dance maestros Pt. Birju Maharaj and Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra.

Yogini has performed at some of the most prestigious festivals in India like the Sawai Gandharva Mahotsav, Ellora Festival, Kathak Kendra Mahotsav etc. Through the years her performances have received critical acclaim as also appreciation from audiences in India and abroad. She has presented dance concerts and lecture demonstrations in the USA, Australia, Sweden, Denmark etc. She has been bestowed with a number of awards and honors to name a few The Rotary Vocational Excellence award, The Shingaar Mani, Outstanding Young Person Award. She is also empanelled with the I.C.C.R. Indian Council for Cultural Relations, A Govt. of India organization in New Delhi and Member of the International Dance Council - UNESCO To share her love and joy of dance, Yogini established ‘Kalanidhi’ an institute where she imparts training in Kathak & Odissi. Yogini’s creative pursuit in the realm of performing arts is her intrinsic journey of self-evolvement.

Guru Munna Shukla

smt yogini gandhi

The Kathak maestro, Pandit Munna Shukla is a large hearted, self effacing and effective teacher. An excellent performer he is the creator of radically new dance numbers which no where spill over the Kathak idiom inspite of their aesthetic diversity and opulence. Nor is his repertoire of traditional numbers lacking in beauty and variety. As an exponent and teacher of kathak, and also as a speaker on this dance form, Munna ji has regaled audiences travelling the length and breath of India and numerous countries abroad.

Munna Shukla ji has trained several artistes, who are active performers and thinkers making a positive contribution to the evolution of artistic sensibilities in society today. He has taught at the Kalachaya Institute for 7 years at Pune, and been a member of the teaching faculty at the ' Kathak Kendra' the National Institute of Kathak and Shri Ram Bhartiya Kendra. For his immense contributions in the filed of Kathak, Guruji has been bestowed with several awards and honours. The Saraswati Samman, 2011; Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 2006; Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman, 2003; Sarangdeo Award by Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai, 1989; Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 1988 to name a few. Born to dance,Guru Munna Shukla is the son of Late Vidyavati, a classical vocalist and the daughter of the famed Kathak Maestro Acchan Maharaj and the nephew of the brilliant and illustrious Pandit Birju Maharaja, Guruji continues to contribute in the filed of Kathak remaining true to the traditions of this art form.

Awards & Honours

  • Divya has been bestowed with the coveted 'National Award' ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ by the apex body of performing arts in India, Central Sangeet Natak Akademi.
  • She is also a recipient of the prestigious National level Title ‘Singar Mani’ conferred by the Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai.
  • National Nritya Shiromani’ title has also been presented to Divya by the Utkal Yuva Sanskrutik Sangh, Cuttack, Odisha.
  • Divya is also a Doordarshan Graded Artist.

Performances

  • ‘India Week’, organized by American Embassy, New Delhi, 2017.
  • ‘Cuttack Mahotsava’, organized by Uttkal Yuva Sankritik Sangh, Cuttack, 2017.
  • ‘Festival of Drama, Dance and Music’ organized by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi at Guwahati, 2016.
  • ‘Ullas’ a Kathak presentation for the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Delhi 2016.
  • ‘Shiv Vivaha’ dance ballet of Kathak, Bhratnatyam and Odissi, organized by The Lalit Group, choreographed by Guru Kamalini Dutt and Guru Sharon Lowen, Khajuraho and New Delhi 2016.
  • ‘Sadhna Festival’ organized by Kalashram, Delhi 2015.
  • ‘An evening of Kathak’ organized by Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, Chandigarh 2014.
  • ‘Natyanjali’ Dance Festival organized at Natraj Perur (Shiva) Temple, Coimbatore 2013.
  • ‘Atmabodh’ organized by ‘Naman Dhyan Kendra’ at Bal Bhawan, Chandigarh 2012.
  • Nehru Wangchuck Cultural Centre organized by Indian Embassy, Thimphu, Bhutan 2011.
  • Ras Rang organized for His Majesty the King of Bhutan, Haa, Bhutan 2011.
  • Assam Rifles Centenary Celebration, New Delhi, 2011.
  • Darjeeling Annual Cultural Festival organized by Gorkha Sanskritik Samsad, Darjeeling 2010.
  • Army War College, Mhow, 2010.
  • Jodhana Fort Resort, Nagaur, 2010.
  • Raindrops Dance Festival 2009 under the aegis of Samved Society, Mumbai.
  • Nalanda Nritya Utsav 2009 organised by Nalanda Dance Research Centre, under banner of Mumbai Festival.
  • Kal-Ke-Kalakar 2009 organised by Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai.
  • Yuva Sangeet Nritya Mahotsav 2008 organised by the South Central Zone Cultural Centre at Aurangabad.
  • Osho World – Pune, Delhi, Chandigarh and Aurangabad.
  • ‘Indradhanu’ program of Pune Festival.

Lecture-Demonstrations

  • Workshops and lecture demonstrations for SPICMACAY, the Nationwide movement to promote Indian Classical dance and music.
  • Workshops and lec-dem for prestigious Institutes and schools all across the country, American Embassy, Government Schools across India, Kendriya Vidyalaya, across India.
  • Lec-dem for College of Military Engineering, Army War College, Assam Rifles Training Centre; Private and Government Sector Schools; Symbiosis University, Tata Management Training Centre .

  • Performances For Kalanidhi

  • International Council for Cultural Relations, Mumbai 2010.
  • Abhivyakti at Pune, Deval Club Kolhapur, Darpana Ahmedabad, Mumbai, 2011 and 2010.
  • Gandharva Maha Vidyalaya, Pune, 2010.
  • National Defence Academy, Pune, 2010.
  • Manik Sandhya, Mumbai, 2009.
  • Neemrana Fort Resort, 2009.
  • Pandit Firoz Dastur Memorial Concert, Mumbai, 2009.
  • Mahashivratri Mahotsav- Shri Uttar Chidambar Natraj Mandir Satara, 2008.
  • World Haiku Festival at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ashram Banglore, 2008.
  • Shaniwarwada Dance Festival, Pune, 2008.
  • Shanti Naad at Aga Khan Palace Pune, 2007.
  • Haridas Sangeet Sammelan, 2006 .

Press Reviews