Prajakta Raj

Groomed by stalwarts like the late Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate and Guru Roshan Datye, Prajakta Raj is an accomplished Kathak danseuse and a well-known name in this field today.

Prajakta, who was trained for 14 years by Guru Roshan Datye, received advanced training from late Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate from 1996 to 2008 at the renowned Nrityabharati Kathak Dance Academy in Pune.

Besides completing the Senior Diploma course at Nrityabharati, she has also obtained a Master’s Degree in Kathak from the Centre for Performing Arts (Lalit Kala Kendra), Pune University. Prajakta has also successfully proved her mettle as an able dance teacher since 1992. Presently she is working as a Guru and Examiner at the Lalit Kala Kendra of Pune University. As a small contribution to the institution that made her a dancer, she has been working as an Honorary Teacher and Secretary at Nrityabharati Kathak Dance Academy since 2006. She is also the Founder-Director of Aarohini Kathak Dance Academy and the Director of Aarohini Art Welfare Organisation, a non-profit organisation, dedicated to the promotion of Kathak and other art forms.

A multi-faceted personality, Prajakta also has a Master’s Degree in French from Pune University and is a lecturer of French.

Creative Compositions
  • Choreographed a 90 minute ‘Kathak Kathaa’ portraying the evolution of Kathak over the ages, performed by 80 dancers and 30 musicians & technicians, Pune - 2012.
  • Choreographed a Kathak Ballet on an environmental theme “Save Biodiversity” for the International Vasundhara Film Festival, Pune - 2011.
  • Choreographed a 95 minute Kathak ballet ‘Ritu Chakra’ which has 50 dancers. Also wrote its script in French and Hindi.
  • Choreographed 6 poems written by Kavi Bhushan in praise of Maharaj Shivaji - 2009
  • Choreographed and performed in a fusion video with an eminent Spanish Flamenco Dancer in Germany - 2009
  • Choreographed a dance for a grand animation film ‘DASHAVATAAR’ - 2008
  • Nritya: Vandana, 2 Bhajans, 3 Marathi poems, a French poem
  • Kathak ballet ‘Trishna’
  • Is a part of a 5 member group, which has choreographed and performed :
    • 3 poems written by Shri Harivanshray Bachchan, which earned great appreciation from Shri Amitabh Bachchan - 2010
    • A Krishna Sankeertan “Krishnayan” based on the life journey of Lord Krishna
    • A 40 minute Fusion of classical and western dance for the Inauguration of E.T.V (Marathi) channel
    • Chaturang - A composition based on four aspects of Nritya & Nritta
    • A composition based on the renowned Sarangi Maestro Sultan Khan's song "Sawan Ritu Aai"
    • “Samwad”, a technical composition of Kathak
    • A choreography on the inaugural song of Bharat Asmita National Awards, Pune.

About Prajakta's Gurus

About Late Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate

For 61 years, the late Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate had focused her energies on teaching and performing Kathak. Groomed in the art by her Gurus the late Pt. Lacchu Maharaj and Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar, she evolved a unique and rich style all her own. In her various roles as writer, translator, orator, theoretician, teacher, and dancer, Guru Rohini Bhate embodied a harmonious blend of high classicism and contemporary expression... a synergistic celebration of the performing arts.

  Prajakta Raj is one of my very best students. She has an acute sense of rhythm and a fluid grace of movement. Creative... fine professional dancer... soloist... acclaimed by connoisseurs...  
– Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate

About Guru Roshan Datye

Years of dedicated training, an acute vision for creative expression, grace and abhinaya in balance measure... Dancer, Choreographer, Guru and Art-Historian, Roshan Datye has emerged as a major contributor to Kathak in India. One of the senior-most disciples of Guru Pandita Rohini Bhate, she is the Joint-Director of Nrityabharati Kathak Dance Academy and Director of Rochit Kathak Academy since 1980. She has performed at major festivals all over India and abroad. She was awarded a fellowship by the Cultural Ministry of the Govt. of India for her research on the inter-relation between Kathak, ancient sculptures of North India and medieval age miniature paintings.

  Prajakta is a graceful dancer... performances marked by effortlessness and a certain ease.. an almost intuitive sense of rhythm - ‘Laya’ and ‘Layakari’.. genuinely talented...  
- Guru Roshan Datye

Performances

Extensively performed Solo as well as part of Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate’s troupe & Guru Roshan Datye's group. Performed at major cities in India like New Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Khajuraho, Konark, Allahabad, Gwalior, Tirupati, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Nasik, Aurangabad etc.

Performances Abroad
  • Performances and workshops at Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria, organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Embassies of the three countries – 2015.
  • Organised 2 one-month cultural exchange tours with performances, lecture-demonstrations, workshops:
    – 19 shows with 3 students in England - 2011
    – 18 shows with 15 students in France - 2010
  • 8 solo performances, 6 lecture-demonstrations, conducted a 3 day workshop, choreographed and performed in a fusion video with an eminent Spanish Flamenco Dancer-Germany, France and Italy - 2009
  • Organised and successfully performed 27 solo and group recitals, lecture-demonstrations & workshops in Germany, France and England - 2004
  • Dance workshop, lecture-demonstrations and a solo performance at Chambery, France - 1993
  • Solo performance in Paris, France - 1993
Solo Performances
  • Aundh Sangeet Mahotsav, Satara- 2014.
  • Mohani Moorat, Pune – 2014.
  • Aura Aurangabad, Aurangabad – 2014.
  • Kathak Nritya Sandhya, Pune 2014.
  • Over 60 Solo and Group performances at the Sangam World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Pune since 1994 to 2015.
  • Seminar on Legendary Guru Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar, Pune – 2013.
  • ‘Srujan’ – a performance organised and attended by Pt. Birju Maharaj. Performed Solo and in group. Mumbai - 2011.
  • ‘Ekal Vidha’ : Organised by Rochit Kathak Akademi, Pune- 2011.
  • Max Muller Bhavan, Pune – 2009
  • Kathak Mahotsav 2007, Organised by Delhi Kathak Kendra in Pune – 2007
  • India Habitat Centre for "Dhwani", New Delhi - 2004
  • Academy of India Dances, Tirupati - 1991, Hyderabad - 1992
  • All India Conference ‘Guru Shishya Tradition’ Gwalior - 1993
  • National Centre for the Performing Arts (N.C.P.A.), Mumbai - 2001
  • 11th Vishwa Hriday Sammelan, Aurangabad - 1998
  • World Rotaract Week, Pune (West) - 1999
  • SAARC, Pune – 1999
Duet Performances
  • Kathak Mahotsav: Organised by Delhi Kathak Kendra, Delhi - 2011
  • Nritya Pratibha: Organised by the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi - 1999
  • Khajuraho Festival of Dances: Organised by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad, Khajuraho, M.P. - 2003
Group Performances
  • Kathak Mahotsava 2015, New Delhi – 2015
  • Kathak Samaroha, organised by Jaipur Kathak Kendra, Jaipur – 2014
  • Aura Aurangabad, Aurangabad – 2014.
  • ‘Tasmai’, organised by Aakriti Foundation. Honoured to share the stage with the legendary Pt. Birju Maharaj, New Delhi – 2013
  • Nrityaroopa Aarohini, Pune – 2012
  • Vasundhara International Film Festival, Pune – 2011
  • Kaleidoscope Classical Ballet Festival, Pune - 2011
  • Bachchan recites Bachchan: Honoured to share the stage with the legendary Shri Amitabh Bachchan, Pune – 2010
  • Kathak Mahotsav, Delhi - 2009
  • Centre for Cultural Research & Training (C.C.R.T.), Delhi - 2009
  • Shaniwar Wada Dance Festival, Pune - 2009
  • Pulotsava, Pune - 2008
  • Anunay - Nrityabharati’s 61st year celebration, Pune - 2008
  • Konark Festival of Dances, Konark, Orissa - 2005
  • Sangeet Natak Academi’s Swarna Mahotsav, Mumbai - 2003
  • Pt. Acchan Maharaj Smriti Samaroha, Delhi - 2002
  • Pt. Uday Shankar Ballet Festival, Jaipur - 2002
  • Jayanti Mahotsav, Kolkata - 2000
  • National Science Congress, Pune - 2000
  • Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai - 1999
  • Prayag Sangeet Sammelan, Allahabad - 1999
  • UNESCO’s Inter-country Seminar, Pune – 1999
  • National Centre for the Performing Arts (N.C.P.A.), Mumbai - 1997
  • Kalka - Binda Jayanti Mahotsav, Delhi - 1996, 1997
  • Annual conference, Kathak Kendra, Lucknow - 1996
  • Kalidas Samaroha, Nagpur - 1996
  • Khandesh Sangeet Sammelan, Bhusawal - 1996
  • Geologists’ World Conference, Pune - 1992

Prajakta's Disciples

Following the fine example set before her by her Gurus, Prajakta has been devotedly pursuing this artistic path as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. She has been giving training in authentic Kathak to students in Pune since 1992, and today she has a number of disciples who have given solo Kathak recitals, performed in groups at important festivals, won prizes at prestigious competitions and performed as part of Prajakta's troupe in India as well as England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy. They are being groomed not just to be good Kathak dancers and teachers, but to be exceptionally good individuals.

Achievements

Prajakta won
  • The ‘Best Choreographer Award’ - Dnyanadevi - 2008
  • Arts Trophy - Alliance Française de Poona - 2001
  • Nrityabharati’s ‘Best Student’ award – 2000-2001
  • Vidya Karandak - 1998
  • Kalyani Karandak - 1997
  • State-level competition, Nashik - 1998
  • Insynch, Fergusson College - 1992
  • Smritigandha - 1992
Prajakta’s students won
  • The Second Prize: the ‘Late Pt. Lachchu Maharaj Award’ at the Maharashtra State Level competition, organized by Prerana Foundation, Pune - 2015
  • The First Prize: the ‘Late Pt. Lachchu Maharaj Award’ at the Maharashtra State Level competition, organized by Prerana Foundation, Pune - 2013
  • The Third prize at the Lion’s Club Prime Group competition, Pune - 2013
  • The First prize in a Television Dance Competition - 2009
Associations

Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, ‘Sangam’, organises events where guests from various countries all over the world are introduced to Indian culture and traditions. Sangam has been regularly inviting Prajakta to perform Kathak in the form of lecture-demonstrations for the foreign guests to easily understand & appreciate Kathak. She has given over 60 performances at ‘Sangam’ since 1994.



Events

JANIJE YADNYAKARMA

Don't miss this opportunity to watch some of the best performers in Pune represent their revered Gurus on stage!


ENRICHMENT SESSIONS 9

Students, Parents, Art-lovers: This is definitely going to be a special treat!!! Don't miss this for anything !!!


ENRICHMENT SESSIONS 8

2 hours 15 minutes of absolutely divine bliss!!! Each one in the audience, irrespective of his/her age or understanding of classical dance, got swept off his feet, taken to a completely different and beautiful world, where each one felt elated, inspired, enriched! Only an extraordinary artiste like Sujata Mohapatra could create this magic! She spoke of her background, years of rigourous training with her Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, shared memories as his disciple and as his daughter-in-law, talked about her conviction in the traditional format and presentation of classical Odissi, and also generously demonstrated some of her guru’s masterpieces, which was a heavenly experience for the audience, who got a chance to watch from such an intimate distance! What was most striking was the simplicity, the genuineness, the generosity and the ease with which this outstanding artiste connected to the audience, giving them all an experience to cherish for a lifetime! Special thanks to Smt. Yogini Yogini Gandhi for being a such a great host… for getting the best out of the artiste in the given time span… Nobody else could have possibly done it better! Photo Credits : Kaustubh Atre. With Alka Dixit- Phatak, Gayatri Nagarkar Gayatri Rairkar Vibhuti Ashwin Palshikar, Prajakta Atre, Venu Riswadkar, Aditi Rojatkar, Vedali Kshirsagar, Shaoli Ghosh, Eesha Nashikkar, Aishwarya Rane, Tanvi Mittal, Tanvi Salunkhe, Swati Godbole, Sruja Sakhadeo, Prachi Kanhekar, Mayur Shitole, Swarada Bhave, Vaibhav Arekar, Poonam Gokhale, Rasika Gumaste, Pracheeti Dange, Aparna Dhupkar, Yogini Gandhi, Gouri Bhandarkar, Amala Shekhar, Anjali Patil, Nayantara Kurma Parpia, Dhanashree Natu, Amruta Pendharkar, Shital Galande, Asawari Chiplunkar, Asawaree Patankar, Sharvari Ashok Jamenis, Maneesha Abhay, Rujuta Soman, Rasika Tungatkar, Shambhavi Dandekar, Asmita Thakur, Amruta Paranjape Gogate, Neha Muthiyan, Tejaswini Sathe, Madhuri Apte, Shraddha Sidid, Abha Auti.


Triveni

SOLO Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odissi recitals with live music by some of the best exponents in their art forms today!
Kathak : Shri Vishal Krishna
Bharatnatyam : Shri Vaibhav Arekar
Odissi : Smt. Sujata Mohapatra
This show is organised by Prajakta Raj(Atre) & Aarohini. Come, witness the rich tradition of Indian classical dances in all its glory!!!

Presenting the young Kathak dancer SHRI VISHAL KRISHNA - Hailing from the Benaras gharana of Kathak, Vishal Krishna has been groomed by stalwarts of the art form, like the Kathak Queen Sitara Devi, Pt. Mohan Krishna and Pt. Ravi Shankar Mishra, to name a few. His dance is characterized by perfect sync with melody, rhythm, poetry along with a face exuding the nuances of Bhavyabhivyakti. He merges lyrical grace and the rhythmic virtuosity of Kathak with the intelligent use of space in his performances. Having won accolades for his dance in India and abroad, he is regarded as an artiste with immense versatility and the torchbearer of the Benaras gharana. Watch this energetic dancer perform at 'TRIVENI' on 3rd Feb!

SMT. SUJATA MOHAPATRA Amongst the three classical dancers performing at Triveni Sangam, representing Odissi, in all its splendour, is distinguished danseuse Srimati Sujata Mohapatra. Having received her training under the late guru Padmavibhushan Kelucharan Mohapatra, she has nurtured her interest in dance from a very early age and developed into a graceful and mesmerising danseuse. With flawless technique, fluid movements and masterful expressions, Sujata Mohapatra renders her audience speechless, marvelling at the many roles she assumes, from gods to animals to villains. She has gained national as well as international accolades and is renowned for her alluring dance and imaginative choreography. Come, be a witness to her 'divine' performance on stage!

SHRI VAIBHAV AREKAR, one of the leading male Bharatanayam soloists of India, is trained under virtuoso teachers - Smt. Saroja Srinath and Smt. Tangamani Nagarajan and his mentor Dr. Smt. Kanak Rele. He has his masters degree in Bharatanatyam from Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya. Impressions and experiences from dance performances, in India and abroad, along with his creative impulse have influenced Vaibhav’s performance and choreography. An intense, calm, and strong masculine approach is Vaibhav's signature style. His work in the genre of theatre-dance has created some milestone productions, which have received high critical acclaim and are regarded as model thematic works in Bharatanatyam - his solo 'Narmade har har' (to be presented in 'Triveni') being one of them. Don't miss this opportunity to watch this wonderful artiste perform on stage!


SANCHIT-SRUJAN- 21 DEC 2016

'Sanchit-Srujan' : Sheer bliss! Divine! It is always such a pleasure to perform masterpieces from late Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate's repertoire! In addition, if you have all your best performers come together from far and wide to put in every possible effort to make the performance a grand success,...plus, you have the best team for lights, sound, videography, photography and costumes - each one putting in his best with complete dedication and involvement, the result is something divine, out of this world! Thank you dear Rohini Tai for this wonderful blessing! Thank you Harshavardhan Pathak, Yogesh Riswadkar Kaustubh Atre, Phadnis Milind, Prashant Kamble, Sheetal Oak, Abha Auti and Satyajeet Dhandekar for your invaluable contribution! Proud of you my girls: Venu Riswadkar, Aditi Rojatkar , Tanvi Salunkhe, Aishwarya Rane, Eesha Nashikkar, Gayatri Rairkar, Vedali Kshirsagar, Mayur Shitole and all the younger ones! I'm grateful to you Anujaa Kshirsagar, Aboli Dhayarkar and Ameya Palande for your enthusiastic involvement and impeccable performance! A huge thanks to all my friends and relatives who made it to the performance inspite of it being a weekday! Missed you lots Gayatri Nagarkar, Shaoli Ghosh, Tanvi Mittal, Vibhuti Ashwin Palshikar and Sruja Sakhadeo! Love you all! Prajakta Atre.


'Arpan'- 7th October 2016

'ARPAN' : a salute to my revered Gurus - Late Dr. Rohini Bhate and Roshan Datye and to their Kathak institutes - the mother 'Nrityabharati' and an offspring 'Rochit'.
What an amazing feeling it is when your Gurus, your seniors, your colleagues, your students, your technicians, your backstage assistants - each and every one puts in a lot of effort and positive energy in enthusiastic support to put up a grand show like this! Only a powerful, inspiring and motivating force like the legendary maestro Rohini Bhate could make this happen ...then and now! Right from the planning to the making and finally to the actual presentation, an experience so enjoyable, enlightening, enriching, overwhelming!!! Feel blessed!!! A huge thanks to Guru Neelima Adhye to have helped make this dream come true! Thank you Amala Tai and Roshan Tai for your enthusiastic guidance!


ENRICHMENT SESSIONS 6

A very enriching & highly active session ! Aanand discussed about the connection between the arts & life, present scenario in the field of art. He shared his experiences in the field of Arts based therapy which he has been practising since the last 25 years. He conducted a few group activities to imbibe the meaning of 'ease in presenation of art forms'. This was really an enriching experience for the participants. Thank you Aanand for your electrifying session.
Everyone joining the session is requested to reflect on these 2 broad questions:
(गप्पांअाधी चिंतनासाठी दोन प्रश्न)
1. What do mean, when you say ‘classical dance’….? What is your personal definition or understanding of it?
1. शास्त्रीय (अभिजात) नृत्याची तुमची स्वत:ची समजूत किंवा व्याख्या काय अाहे?

2. What is the connection or relation between your art and your daily life…?
2. तुमची कला अाणि तुमचा नित्य जीवनक्रम (रोजचे अायुष्य) यांच्यात काय दुवा अाहे?


Kathak Indradhanu- 12 August 2016

A Kathak performance by 115 little dance students - a majority bet. age 8 -15 years, learning at different branches of Aarohini in Pune, performing for the very 1st time on stage! Plus 10 of Aarohini's seniors students performing 3 dances! Plus our fabulous guest dancers in "Fusion" - Anuja Kshirsagar, Ameya Palande, and the rocking YTA team - Rohit Oswal, Mehul Khimavat, Ketan Gurav, Clayton Menezes, Harshad Kanitkar, Aniket Kedari, Parth Shah!!! Very pleasant and informative compering by Aboli Dhayarkar! Great team of Musicians: Mangesh Karmarkar, Ajay Parad, CA Hrishikesh Badve, Sunil Avachat, Nikhil Mahamuni-Music Composer, Uddhav Kumbhar, Madhura Hasabnis and Sneha Kulkarni! Awesome costumes by Sheetal Oak! Fantabulous lights by Harshavardhan Pathak and Sachin Lele! Mind blowing captures by photographer Kaustubh Atre ! Our Videographer - Milind Phadnis and Sound Artiste- Prashant Kamble! Hats off to the whole team which worked together to start the show on schedule at 5.30 SHARP, and to finish it at 8.00pm - 3 minutes before schedule! Congratulations to Prajakta Atre, Venu Riswadkar, Mayur Shitole, Vedali Kshirsagar, Gayatri RairkarShaoli Ghosh, Swati Godbole, Ankita Chaudhari, Suchita Ware, Janhavi Sangeeta Bhalerao, Sayali Garud, Dnyaneshwari Muknak ! Thanks for your help Shivani Sanas, Tanvi Salunkhe, Manasi Nachiket Joshi, Neha Kukarni, Lolakshi Prabhudesai and Madhurika Deepti Risbud Abhyankar!


ENRICHMENT SESSIONS 5

A very high spirited and informative session by the beautiful & talented Sharvari Ashok Jamenis! The photos say it all! Thank you sooo much! session conducted by Prajakta Atre


ENRICHMENT SESSIONS 4

Dear All,I have been interviewing Madhuri Tai... she is a great narrator and has some AWESOME things to share! I can promise you this session is going to be fabulous! PLEASE DO NOT MISS IT for anything! - Prajakta Atre
A highly melodious, deeply genuine and absolutely generous offering by Madhuritai !Madhuri Joshi .Can we ever thank you enough?
Thank you Kaustubh Atre for these wonderful captures!


ENRICHMENT SESSIONS 3

Senior Music Composer and Harmonium Artiste Shri Ajay Parad talked about music as a language. He also introduced harmonium to beginners. He shared his memories with Guru Rohini Bhate with whom he worked for 23 years.Programme conducted by: Prajakta Atre


ENRICHMENT SESSIONS 2

Guru Shamatai Bhate shared wonderful memories of late Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate, ...memories which were enlightening and enriching! So many times during the 2 hour session, one felt overwhelmed...one couldn't resist the tears ... specially when Sanat Dada, Guru Rohinitai's son spontaneously came up and spoke about the great Guru, his mother! What a legendary artiste! How fortunate are we to get to know more about her each time!!! Wonderful photos, yet again by Kaustubh Atre!


ENRICHMENT SESSIONS 1

The1st Enrichment Session organised by Prajakta Atre and Aarohini, on Sun. 26th June, 2016 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Paranjape School, Kothrud in celebration of Aarohini's Silver Jubilee: Guru Sharadini Gole won all hearts who witnessed her perform the subtle, yet intense abhinaya.. one of the specialities of Guru Rohini Bhate Gharana! The soft-spoken, fresh and ever-smiling Guru shared wonderful memories of times spent with late Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate, taking the audience to an era unseen and unknown to most. Her words of experience and wisdom were highly interesting and thoroughly enriching for young students as well as their parents! Moments of the energy-filled evening wonderfully captured by Kaustubh Atre


Anvat

Dear friends, Aarohini is celebrating its Silver Jubilee year from June 2016 to June 2017. Do Come, bring in your love and warm wishes and make Aarohini's celebrations complete! Your presence is most awaited! Place your orders for tickets as soon as possible to get the best seats! -Prajakta Raj (Atre)


Aarohini Nritya Sabha

‘Aarohini Nritya Sabha’ is a solo dance platform for students learning at Aarohini Art Welfare Organisation. The original concept, initiated by Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate in the 1990s, involves traditional solo performances by two students- one studying at a junior (Diploma Level) and the other at the senior level. Each performance is completely organised and managed by the other non-performing students, who handle the responsibility for the narration, the ‘padhant’ (recitation), the stage decoration, the hall bookings and all other technicalities involved in conducting the performance. This educates the students in handling all kinds of responsibilities related to stage performances. After the demise of Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate, Prajakta Raj restarted this tradition in her memory, naming it “Aarohini Nritya Sabha”, where, until now, 14 disciples have performed solo since 2009. This platform gives the aspiring dancers at Aarohini the opportunity to explore their capability as performers of tomorrow.


Workshops

With an aim to plunge into the deeper levels of the authentic training of Kathak and to give the students a deeper insight into the unparalleled work of Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate, Aarohini organises workshops for students learning at different levels. Each overnight workshop, designed by Prajakta Raj, is generally a 24 hour packed schedule where Prajakta personally trains the students to exercise, dance, watch documentary films/ stage performances of Dr. Rohini Bhate or her senior disciples, accompanied by explanations on the thought behind each choreography and a discussion/appreciation of the art work. Three such workshops have been organised in the last two years and the outcome has been remarkable! It has created a deeper interest in the minds of the students and a greater appreciation and respect for the work of the legendary Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate! The workshops proved to be very enriching and inspiring for both Prajakta and her disciples, consequently also making the bond between them even stronger!


Workshop - Neelimatai Babytai



Workshop - Subhash Ji



Workshop - Prajakta

Testimonials

 Prajakta Raj is one of my very best students. She has an acute sense of rhythm and a fluid grace of movement. Creative... fine professional dancer... soloist... acclaimed by connoisseurs...
- Late Guru Dr. Rohini Bhate

 The evening was elegant... intimate and controlled. The start was a surprise for me as dancers from the famous Sanskritic school of dance under the tutorship of Rohini Bhate, the renowned exponent of the ‘Kathak’ trouped out in unison... there it was, a rendition of three of Babuji’s works from various phases of his life put to dance by these lovely ladies. The choice of poems and the rendition was unique, soft, dignified and extremely soothing. They lent an air of great professional work and I must admit I succumbed to the moisture in the eyes as I watched them perform.
- Shri. Amitabh Bachchan (In his Official Blog, 29/30 March 2010)

 ...accomplished performer... exceptionally well at all times…comprehensive yet understandable explanations for an audience from all countries and cultures... dedicated and professional performer...
- Margo Browning (Sangam World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts)

 Prajakta’s efforts... her professionalism... talented dancer, backed with 20 years of experience, she leaves the audience enchanted. The precision of her movements and the intensity in her eyes are bewitching. Her show... was of a grand quality... she would enthrall the French audience. Her 15 young students too were astonishingly talented... deeply involved in every interaction with our audiences! Workshops... lectures... with a slide show... were very rich as well... interactions with 16 French organisations and more than 1500 persons in only 14 days - a rhythm efficiently maintained. The fact that she speaks French fluently enabled a true exchange with our people, who found answers to all their questions.
- Florence Ardouin (L’Association Encontro, Chambery, France)

 I have known Prajakta for the last 25 years. She is graceful, her performances marked by ease… intuitive sense of rhythm …command over both Taal Prastuti (Technique) and Abhinaya (Expression)... she draws an overwhelming response from the audience... is equally competent in communicating in French, English, Marathi & Hindi.... is dedicated to the cause of traditional Kathak.
- Guru Roshan Datye

 Among the duets, Prajakta Raj and Rujuta were impressive... true to the traditions of their guru. Tastefully costumed, their Kathak projected delicate refinement without aggressive posturing.
- Leela Venkataraman (The Hindu, 2011)

 I have known Prajakta since 1995... a hard-working and sincere dancer... in 2004, 2011, gave fantastic performances, workshops in Leicester, UK... very unique solo and group dance pieces of a high technical standard. All the compositions in her repertoire were outstanding... choreography was brilliant and unusual... the use of literary work was very different... received very good appreciation in the UK... an excellent teacher, conducted her Kathak workshops very well... explained with clarity. A good artiste...a fantastic human being, a very loving, intelligent and a soft-spoken person, who works with ease and clarity with everybody.
- Nilima Devi MBE (Member of the British Empire Award), Artistic Director, CICD, Leicester, UK)

 I have known Prajakta for approximately 20 years and have admired her work and absolute dedication to Kathak. Her dancing is superb, her dedication total and her appreciation of Kathak shows every time she performs this intricate and beautiful style of dance from India. I have seen her and her students perform in front of many international audiences…in Pune, India… also toured the UK twice…and has enthralled audiences all over the UK.
She also attended a UK-wide conference for Trefoil Guild in the UK performing for, and also teaching, some of the 400 delegates.
- Mrs. Margaret Wellock, MBE(Member of the British Empire Award), Ex International Advisor, Trefoil Guild, UK

Media

2015
2014
2011
2010
2009
2006-2008
1999-2001

Videos

Chaiti -

Tarang -

Hori -

Kajri -

Ganesh Vandana (Om Namoji) -

Ganesh stotra -

Tarana -

Mohini Moorat - 12th Aug. 2014

Abhinay Solo - 8th Oct. 2013

Kathak Sandhya - 31st Jan. 2014

Teentaal - Solo

Kathak Katha - 8th June, 2012

Mohini Moorat - 12th Aug. 2014

Ramayana -

Dakshayagya (Solo) -

Teentaal (Solo) -

Mohani Moorat (Solo) -

Mohani Moorat -

Kathak Katha (Solo) -

Kathak Katha -

Kathak Sandhya (Solo) -

The Dance Of Vibrance - Guru Rohini Bhate

Kathak Kathaa - 8th Aug. 2012

Kathak Ballet "Ritu Chakra" - April, 2010

And Introducing...' - 29th June, 2014

Nritya Bharati Dance Academy in Vienna - 1

Nritya Bharati Dance Academy in Vienna - 2

International Tours

2015 Switzerland

Prajakta Raj, her disciples Gayatri Nagarkar-Kulkarni and Venu Riswadkar were chosen as part of Nrityabharati’s 10 member troupe to travel to Europe on a white passport, representing India and performing Kathak for Indian Embassies in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria in March- April 2015. The troupe gave a performance in Bern, 2 performances in Vienna, a performance and a workshop each at Zurich and Liechtenstein. The troupe was very well-received at every venue and it was especially a great honour to perform at Vienna for 98 Ambassadors and around 125 UN delegates from different countries all over Europe!
A sincere word of gratitude towards the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Indian Embassy Bern, the Indian Association of Greater Zurich, Poonam Shyam and Trishna- Zurich, Dr. Pankaj Agarwal and the India Club in Liechtenstein, Mr. Pavan Badhe, Mrs. Madhuri Khandori and the Indian Embassy in Austria, Mr. Arno Krimmer and the Austrian Indian Institute- Vienna, Mr. Aggarwal and Mr. Hans Remund from Switzerland for being such warm hosts, for looking into the smallest details to make our performances so successful and our stay so comfortable!
Kaveri Sageder, Mr. Mohinder Gulati, Sarita Parchani Maini, Martha, Pranjal (Prallan Arya), Sangita Nebel– Thanks so much for that special touch of warmth and care !
Photo Credits: Cloudia Chan and the Society Magazine, Vienna, Austria.

2011 England

The September 2011 visit to the UK was primarily planned to perform at the Centenary Year Celebration of the Trefoil Guild. Margaret Wellock, Head of the Trefoil Guild, had seen Prajakta’s performances at several occasions in India and in the UK. She learnt about Prajakta’s aim to promote and spread her Guru Rohini Bhate’s dance worldwide and about her ambition to build a dance studio, named after her Guru, in Pune. To make a contribution to realising Prajakta’s dream, Margaret invited her alongwith three of her students to conduct dance workshops for British ladies of all ages and also organised several lecture- demonstrations and shows in Tamworth, Coventry, Swanwick (Derbyshire), York, Liverpool and Birmingham.
The group performed at Leicester with the efforts of a senior Indian Kathak dancer, Neelima Devi; North Wales with the support of Sheila Harshe and the Rotary Club of Llandudno; and at Bedford as a result of the efforts of Anagha Clarkson and David Wilson. Prajakta and her students at Aarohini, will always remain indebted to all these well-wishers in the UK for their generosity and love in making the tour successful!

2010 France

The impeccable organistion and management by Prajakta’s dear friends – Florence Ardouin (Association Encontro, Chambéry), Prof. Claude Caillat (Lycée Louis Armand, Chambéry) and Marie-Noël Fraysse (Association Entr’Inde, St. Michel sur Orge), made the 2010 France tour a huge success.
Prajakta choreographed a new Kathak ballet called “Ritu Chakra” (The Cycle of Seasons), which showcased the six seasons of India. This ballet was specially visualised to introduce the French to the climatic variations, festivals, culture and traditions in India through the seasons. Designed for a ‘first-timer’ audience, the narration was in French, accompanied by gestures of Kathak and a photo slide-show in order to simplify the understanding of each dance that followed. A 90 minute show with 16 dances performed by Prajakta and her 15 best students in over 125 colourful costumes was indeed a treat to watch! Each and every performance received long rounds of applause and standing ovations in Chambery, Barraux, Pontcharrat, Albertville, Grenoble, St. Michel sur Orge, Maisse, Morsang, and Paris. For the dancers, the highlight was the with the audience at the end of each show and the love, respect and appreciation showered by the French people over the month, including the hosting families. These created strong bonds that will be cherished for life!

2009 Germany, Italy and France

Accompanied by one of her students, Prajakta toured Germany and France for a month to explore the possibility of having a cultural exchange for her students at Aarohini. The main purpose of this tour was to personally meet people of different organisations and introduce Kathak through lecture-demonstrations and shows, while assessing the opportunity. In Germany, Carolin Dassel once again came forward with her helping hand. A workshop with Carolin’s German students of Kathak; a show at the Sahaja Yoga Centre at Munich; a midnight, open-air performance on the riverside in Italy before thousands of people; a fusion-choreography with Montserrat, a Flamenco dancer – were the highlights of this European tour. In France, with the kind help of Florence Ardouin, Parag Joshi, Bernard Martin and Marie-Noel Fraysse, performances and lecture-demonstrations were held at Chambéry, Nîmes, Orléans and St. Michel sur Orge in Paris. By the end of the tour, it was clear that people from Germany and France were very welcoming to such a programme, and to host her students. With an aim to deliver their best, Prajakta thought it wiser to focus her team’s time and energy on one country at a time. Since she was familiar with the language, she chose France as the destination for the following year.

2004 UK, France and Germany

In Sept-Oct 2004, Prajakta planned a dance tour to Europe along with three other professional Kathak dancers – Sharvari Jamenis, Rujuta Soman and Maneesha Abhay. With the organisation and management support from Carolin Dassel, also a disciple of their Guru Rohini Bhate, they performed in Munich, Berlin, Turkheim, Augsberg and a few other cities in Germany. Noopur Hélène (Torabi), another disciple of Guru Bhate organised a workshop and a show in Paris, France. The association – “Friends of Sangam, UK” organised shows in Glenbrook (Derbyshire), Leeds, York, Morecambe, Liverpool and Leicester in UK.
This group of young, talented and vibrant dancers did a record "28" shows, lecture-demonstrations and workshops during their "28" day tour in Europe!

1993 France

In Oct-Nov 1993, while still in college, Prajakta gave two solo performances of Kathak as part of the Indo-French Students’ Cultural Exchange Programme, at Chambéry and Paris in France. The overwhelming appreciation of the French audience left such a deep impact on Prajakta that in 2010, she went on to organise a cultural exchange programme between her students of Kathak dance and the junior college students of Lycée Louis Armand of Chambéry, France.

Shows

Kathak Katha

Mohini Moorat

Anunay

And Introducing

Ritu Chakra

Paalavi

Contact

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Address
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  • Email : atreprajakta3@gmail.com | prajakta_atre@yahoo.com
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