Ashwini Kalsekar is a celebrated Kathak artist and choreographer in London. She is renowned for her expressions, grace & footwork. With a Masters degree in Kathak; Ashwini continues to groom Kathak artists across the UK. Her choreographies are known for exceptional concepts and vibrancy. Ashwini’s recent choreography is a musical Sara creations 'Krishna Priya’; composed by legendary Anup Jalota.This is the first musical of its kind in India and is touring in the country. Her other recent projects involved ‘Metronome’ based on global warming and ‘Geetanjali’ which is a tribute to Tagore’s poetry. She has won an award as choreographer for Indo-British film ‘Ajintha’ in 2012
Ashwini has been a part of key projects of the Arts Council of England like the ‘Big Bed Dance. Ashwini played a key role for Heritage Lottery funded projects in V&A and The Story of Shiva’. Her performances have been applauded internationally. As a Home tutor and Designated mentor on Dancexchange ,Yuvagati programme for past two years, Ashwini is taking a step towards making a mark by creating good kathak performers.
Her recent production in women and war Festival “SHE: THE SHAKTI” received several accolades . Colours of India, Kathaknatyam, Rudara are few of her choreographies got her an international attention. She has successively performed at Oslo and Ireland Film Festivals. In India, she has performed at Konark Festival, Pt.Kalka Bindadin Festival and Pt Gopikrishna Jayanti Mahotsav, Hemantika Festival uk.
Ashwini comes from distinguished family of artists in India. Guru Rekha Nadgauda (mother), Pandita Shama Bhate groomed her to be an exponent of classical performing arts and acquired Master’s degree in Kathak.
She believes in spawning Kathak performers with appreciation towards different classical dance styles.
Kirti Kala Mandir ,UK (KKM) provides students of dance of all ages and levels with authentic knowledge and training. Ashwini has developed a method of teaching that incorporates her knowledge of the body, with her experience gained over more than 15 years as a dancer and teacher.
As a teacher I have trained many students and am proud to see them take flight into the world of dance on their own merit. My students have performed with me in prestigious festivals in India and abroad. I feel a sense of completion when I see them making a mark for themselves in the field of dance. That individuality is what completes an artiste.
There are many more promising and dedicated students waiting to prove their merit. My sessions is a buzz with the excited, eager minds of these children, who have sincerely dedicated themselves to learning Kathak. This genuinely enthuses me and makes me feel worth every bead of sweat that drips from my efforts.
The founder and director of KKM, Rekha, began her illustrious career in Kathak at the young age of 10. She learnt her initial lessons from late Guru Haider Sheikh in Nashik before assuming disciple-hood of late Guru Natraj Pandit Gopikrishna and Pt. Shama Bhate. Her artistry and finesse have been applauded at varied dance festivals viz; Sharad Chandrika Festival, Kala Sangam, Ramdas Sangeet Mahostav, Gopikrishna Sangeet Mahostav, Sanskriti Mahostav and the revered CAEN Festival. Recently her performance was very well received at Nritya Praniti Festiva, Lucknow organized by Sangeet Natak Academy Delhi.
Her distinctive creativity has produced much unconventional choreographies throughout her career. She is passing on her wisdom to many students with determination, patience, warmth and love. Her relentless efforts have successfully enabled her to spread the branches of KKM internationally.
Guru Shama Bhate’s work spans over 35 years as a performer, teacher, choreographer, artistic director, and thinker. Her personal idiom, evolved over the years, is an amazing blend of virtuosity (tayyari) and sensitive expressions (abhinaya), revealing the high degree of classicism.
Guru Shama Bhate is the Director of a unique institute – Nadroop – based in Pune. Nadroop has completed its fruitful existence of twenty years and has brought out many out-of-the-box projects for its silver jubilee celebration like,
As a Guru - Over the years, Guru Shama Bhate has trained (from the very basic to the advanced stages) numerous professional Kathak Dancers who are performing and teaching independently both in India and abroad. She is functioning as a Guru in many universities – Lalit Kala Kendra – Pune, Nalanda College – Mumbai University, Bharat College – Nagpur University, Bharati Vidyapeeth – Pune. Approximately thirty of her students have acquired a post-graduate degree from various universities under her guidance. It is indeed very rewarding to mention that, as many as 12 students have been awarded the HRDC National scholarship for the seniors, and also CCERT scholarship for youngsters.
Jukebox is conventionally recognised as a machine that generates random musical compositions, Ashwini Kalsekar and students of Guru Rekha Nadgauda and Aditi Panse revives this concept by creating a ‘Jukebox’ of pieces exploring and demonstrating Kathak beyond borders. This assortment of classical-style performances presents a spectrum of messages and emotions; from traditional themes of the light of the ‘Guru’ to contemporary issues of bullying and depression, Jukebox: Kathak beyond Tradition celebrates the extensive reach and versatility of this beautiful dance form.
April 2012, European Indian Festival, Cardiff
September 2011, Oslo film Festival
June 2010, Ireland Film Festival
October 2010, Winchester