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US-based Kathak exponent Anindita Neogy Anaam has been honoured with the prestigious National Nritya Shiromani award for her contribution towards preserving and promoting the dance form across the world.

The award was conferred on her on the opening day of the week-long 10th Cuttack Mahotsav: International Dance and Music festival in the millennium city on Wednesday, according to the organisers.

Anindita also showcased her solo Kathak recital at the opening ceremony of the annual festival, organised by Utkal Yuva Sanskrutik Sangh (UYSS) in association with Cuttack district administration, the organisers said.

Known for blending contemporary with tradition, Anindita started her recital on the famous Rajasthani Maand, “Padharo Maare Des” (Welcome to my Land) in Jaipur style of Kathak.

Anindita Anaam is a recipient of prestigious national awards like Jayadev Rashtriya Puraskar and Bidagdha Nartaki Samman for her outstanding achievement in the preservation and promotion of Indian art in India and abroad.

This award has been given in the past to the outstanding Indian classical dance performers and musicians of India and abroad.

Anindita is the secretary of Wisconsin Dance Council board of Directors and the first Indian Kathak dancer chosen to serve in the board.

Receiving the honour she said, “The extensive use of technology has killed the attention span of today’s generation. To draw more youngsters towards Indian classical dance we need to focus on their interest area and adapt new techniques without losing the essence of the classical form”.

She is known to focus on the pure, technical form of Kathak with a touch of world music, which she thinks is important to entertain a global audience without compromising the authenticity of this rich classical style.

“While performing in the US, I realised that foreigners hardly understand our mythology and our dance style. To connect with the audience, I started doing choreography on instruments, which was a success,” said the promising dancer who is keen on working such contemporary content.


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