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Manisha Gulyani – a traditional Kathak dancer of Jaipur style

mgulyaniManisha Gulyani – Hailing from a city resplendent with culture, creed and colour of Indian ethos seeped in true Rajput tradition – Jaipur, Manisha always harboured a penchant for Indian Classical dance. Kathak engulfed her in its fold at a very young age when she joined Jaipur Kathak Kendra. But she had her true calling when she was blessed by the noted exponent of Kathak, the principal Heir of traditional Kathak dance of Jaipur style Pt. Girdhari Maharaj,who very graciously accepted her as his disciple in the traditional Guru-Shishya Parampara.

This mentoring has continued till this date with Manisha continuing her journey towards unravelling the intricacies of this mystical dance form under the watchful vigil of her venerable Guru.Manisha’s passion for Kathak has also led her to be bestowed with an exposure to intricate patterns of Indian rhythm, by Pt. Udai Mazumdar, a senior table player of Banaras gharana.Manisha’s ardent pursual of Dance as a vocation, has seen her earn Advanced Diplomas with merit from Bhakt khande Sangeet vidyapeeth Lucknow, Rajsthan Sangeet Sansthan and Jaipur Kathak Kendra.

Gifted with a keen intellect she has qualified, with flying colours, the National Eligibility Test in Performing Arts (Dance) conducted by the University Grants Commission, India. With an undivided focus on research in the field of Indian Classical Dance and Music she has presented and published various Research articles at different esteemed platforms.Manisha’s list of awards, accolades and accomplishments run long.

gluyaani 3To name a few she has been granted National Senior & Junior Scholarships from Govt. of India and Merit Scholarship from Jaipur Kathak Kendra, India. She has also been honored by the OMI International Dance Residency Award 2007 U.S.A, the ISFI Gold Award 2012 in Dance by International Sufi Festival, Ajmer, India. She serves as an empanelled Kathak Artiste for Cirque de Soleil, Toronto.

Manisha is a Graded artiste from Ministry of Information &Broadcasting, is an empanelled Kathak artiste and works as teacher cum performer on foreign assignments for ICCR (Ministry of External Affairs). She has also been an Instructor of Indian Dance and Music for reputed institutions like BharatiyaVidyaBhavan and DPS Society.Apart from stage choreography of traditional and contemporary dances, she has also choreographed for a Chinese Movie and for various Rajasthani Dance Videos.Manisha has received wide appreciation and acceptance for her Kathakrecitals as well as her choreographic works. She is a familiar face on Magazines, Radio and TV Channels.

Manisha has been performing Kathak for the past one decade in various national and International dance festivals, she has also taken part in several dance productions directed by various Kathak Maestros of India. Her National and International sojourns include festivals like, Bali Spirit Festival, Indonesia, Silk Road Projects, Italy, Nanning International Festival, China, Trufesta International Dance Festival, Nigeria, CulturAll-Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Dance OMI, High Point University USA, KathakMahotsav, KathakSamaroh, Indian Music & Dance festivals organised by Rajasthan SangeetNatak Academy, NZCC, ICCR and Govt. of India.

A regular stage and television performer, she is currently the Head of Performing Arts Department at Amity University Jaipur, India.


gulyaaniKathak, deriving its name from the Sanskrit words ‘katha’ (story) and ‘kathakar’ (storyteller), is the acknowledged classical dance form of the Indo-Gangetic belt. The earliest reference to the dance form Kathak, is from the 4 th century BC preceding the writing of the Bharata’s Natyashastra, the revered Indian Treatise on dramaturgy.

The seeds of the dance form lies in the accompanying gesticulations and mime that became evident at the height of involvement and ecstasy of devotion of the Brahmin priests in the course of delivering their sermon to the congregation wherein they recounted mythological and moral tales. By 4 the century BC, it had evolved into a high state of fine art as is evident from the Prakrit verse. The bhakti movement brought in an element of romanticism. Portrayed through the popular tales of Radha and Krishna, human emotions of devotion, yearning, sorrow and joy were given prominence.

During the medieval period of Indian history, the Mughal era saw yet another facet of formalization and stylization of the dance form in the hands of the traditional male Brahmin Kathaks. Mimetic sequences always centering around Hindu mythological tales saw varied interpretations. Natural movements, intricate rhythmic patterns, controlled vitality, complicated footwork, breathtaking pirouettes and heart rending mime are the hallmarks of Kathak. It subtly explores a range of moods with delicacy and balance, extending the limits of arts representing a grand ‘plurality’ so quintessential to Indian philosophy.

Manisha Gulyani is a …(Awards)

  • An ICCR Kathak Artiste.
  • An empanelled Kathak Artiste for Cirque de Soleil, Toronto.
  • A Doordarshan Graded Kathak Artiste.
  • ISFI Gold Award 2012 in Dance by International Sufi Festival India, Ajmer.
  • ICCR teacher cum performer for foreign assignments at ICC centres.
  • OMI International Dance Residency Award 2007 U.S.A, the ISFI Gold Award 2012.
  • National Senior Scholarship from Govt. of India.
  • National Junior Scholarship from Govt. of India.
  • Merit Scholarship from Jaipur Kathak Kendra, India.

Important International sojourns:

  • Kathak Recital and Master Classes at High Point University, USA 2013.
  • Kathak Recital at Winston City, USA 2013.
  • Kathak Recital at Germany, 2012.
  • Kathak and Amour by Culturall Europe at Switzerland 2012.
  • Kathak and Amour by Culturall Europe at Italy 2012.
  • Kathak with Maand at Bali Spirit Festival, 2012.
  • ICCR& JNICC Tour at Natyamandal, Indonesia 2012.
  • Kathak Recital at Dutch Embassy, Jakarta 2012.
  • International Dance convention and Master Classes at Venice 2011.
  • International Music Festival, China 2010.
  • Trufesta International Dance Festival, and Master Classes at Lagos 2009.
  • Kathak Recital at National Theatre, Nigeria 2009.
  • Contemporary Kathak at New york, 2007.
  • Kathak Recital, Master Class and Dance Collaboration at Ghent USA, 2007.

Important National sojourns:.

  • Braj Hori, Jaipur 2013.
  • Spring Festival 2013, Jaipur.
  • International Sufi Festival India 2012, Ajmer.
  • Convocation 2012, Amity University Rajasthan.
  • International Sufi Festival India 2011, Ajmer.
  • Music Dance Festival 2010, Epic Centre, Gurgaon.
  • Kathak Festival 2010, Jaipur.
  • Udai Shankar Ballet Festival 2010.
  • Kathak Recital organized by Govt. of India at Amber Fort 2010.
  • MeeraManas, Jawahar Kala Kendra 2009.
  • BabulalPatniSmritiSamaroh 2009.
  • All India MP’s Conference 2007, Trivandrum.
  • Kathak Recital at Doordarshan 2007.
  • PratibhaUtsav 2007 organised by NZCC, Kota.
  • Chaturnag Music Festival 2007.
  • Jaipur kathak Festival 2007.
  • Rajasthan SangeetNatak Academy Music Conference 2006, Ajmer.
  • Jaipur Kathak Festival 2006.
  • ICCR Anniversary Celebration 2006, New Delhi.
  • Bhatt SmritiSamaroh 2006, Alwar.
  • Sabrang Festival 2005 & 2006.
  • AIR annual celebration 2001.
  • VandeMatram Production under the direction of Pt. BirjuMaharaj 2000.
  • Kathak Festival 1999 Indore.
  • Indian Army Celebration 1999, Amritsar.
  • Rajasthan Day Celebration 1999, 2000 & 2001.
  • Kathak Festival 1996, 1997 & 1998.
  • Asian Kayaking CoeingChampianship 1999, Bhopal.
  • Vindhya Festival 1999.
  • Khajuraho Festival 2000.
  • DD Jaipur Annual Celebration 1994.
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