NAVINA JAFA reignites Kathak in Delhi

Cultural Technocrat, an expert on heritage tourism, presented her avatar as a Kathak dancer on the stage at the reputed Indian International Centre in Delhi. The audience of diplomats, bureaucrats, thinkers, academics, performers, visual artists, art historians, and gallery owners watched Navina Jafa perform Kathak Solo called ‘Samavesh mein Swadheenta – Freedom in Amalgamation’. Like a river made of many small streams, Navina Jafa gracefully danced the history of Kathak as a picture of bringing different languages and ideas. The South Indian Carnatic Raga Kaanada became North Indian Raga Durbari, providing the basic 16 beats for Navina to build the technical dance. Jafa assumed a pose announced as Husn and Lavanya – Beauty, an enchanting movement was the piece on the beauty of the cheek where an Urdu couplet complemented a Hindi poetic couplet.
Jafa’s brought the learning of her Gurus, Kapila Vatsyayan, Birju Maharaj, Reba Vidyarthi and Munnal Lal Shukla, into the performance. “In my meditative learning of simple compositions from the Gurus, I realised their depth of poetry in their simplicity,” she charmingly told the audience.
The Abhinaya of Expressional piece was exceptional. Navina Jafa kept in mind the increasing violence against women, but instead of complaining, Navina Jafa danced to celebrate hope and awaken the consciousness that each woman has her potential – to become a wholly empowered human being through her mental energy.
Navina Jafa, for her exceptional abhinaya-dramatic rendering, chose the Hindi poetry of Bihari and Keshav Das and developed the character of Radha as Swadheenpatika – The fully empowered woman. It is this awakened Radha that the world idea of Krishna seeks. Mrityunjaya Tripathi worked with Jafa on Hindi literature, Kathakali Guru Sadanam Balakrishna helped Navina to develop the literature as a performance, and the music by Swarnash Mishra provided Navina Jafa with an excellent canvas to paint the Free, Empowered Woman – Swadhinpatika Radha. Navina Jafa, a thinking dancer giving new directions to Kathak dance, made sure that her audience and her accompanying musicians Fateh Singh Gangani on the Tabla, Atul Shanker- Flute, Zohaib Hasan on the vocal, Shahnawaz on the sarangi, and her light designer – Milind Srivastava danced with her.

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