“Dance is not a form of art alone. It is a way of life.”
Established in rather unconventional times, the pioneering Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography (NIKC) lives and breathes dance. A platform of unparalleled stature and achievement, the Institute is dedicated to protect and nurture the legacy of Indian culture. Alongside setting new standards in dance education and the art of performance, Natya Institute seeks to inhabit the public domain through dance.
The history of Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography (NIKC) dates back to 1964, when Padma Vibhushan Smt Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay in liaison with Dr Maya Rao established the institute under the aegis of Bharatiya Natya Sangh, the Indian Centre of International Theatres Institutions Trust, UNESCO. Formed with the intention of providing methodical training in the art of choreography, the Institute was led by an array of veteran artists and its format was designed by Guru Dr Maya Rao. In the year 1987, NIKC set foot in Bangalore with the assistance of the Government of Karnataka and at the special request of former Chief Minister, Shri Ramakrishna Hegde. Ever since, thousands of students have learnt and adapted to a life of dance – a life of unmatched bliss.
Guru Maya Rao
Dr Maya Rao (2 May 1928 – 1 September 2014) was a path- breaking, visionary Guru, celebrated for her excellence as a dancer, choreographer, scholar, curator and educator par excellence, responsible for bringing systematic training in Choreography to India and for setting the repertoire for Kathak in Independent India.
She was the first Government of India Scholarship holder to study extensively with Padmashri Shri Shambhu Maharaj of the Lucknow Gharana and is still recognized as his favourite 'Shishya'. She later specialised in the Jaipur Gharana under Shri Sunder Prasad and is also the only Indian to hold a Post Graduate Certificate in Choreography from the former USSR.
Maya Didi, as she is addressed by thousands of dancers the world over, birthed the Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography in 1964 in Delhi and in 1987 in Bangalore – the only institute in India that offers a dedicated course in choreography.
As the Chairperson of Karnataka State Sangeet Nritya Academy, Maya Didi introduced the National Performing Arts Festival at Heritage Monuments – Somanathapura , Pattadkal) and Halebid and more. Her choreographies are timeless masterpieces and have mesmerized millions of people in over 45 countries.
Dr Maya Rao, has been recognized for her unparalleled contribution with many prestigious awards like- the Sangeet Natak Akademi award( Govt of India), Sahitya Kala Parishad award, Shantala Prashasti( Govt of Karnataka), Purandara award, Emiritus fellowship, Tagore Ratna & an Honorary Doctorate from Bangalore University to mention a few.
A graduate of Commerce, Journalism and Choreography, Madhu trained in Kathak under the tutelage of her mother, the legendary Guru - Dr Maya Rao and with Guru Chitra Venugopal and later studied Contemporary dance in New York.
Often called an intersectionist, Madhu believes in the cross illumination between various fields, fueling her vision for the Kampni to inhabit the public domain through the potent medium of Dance.
‘India Today’ chose Madhu as one among India’s 50 Young Achievers. She also received the ‘Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ from the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, Government of India, FICCI Women’s achievers award to mention a few of her accolades. She is an Ananta Aspen Global Leadership Fellow.
With over 200 choreographies to her credit, Madhu is a panelist at important design, cultural, philanthropic, corporate and academic organizations and has performed in and traveled to over 50 countries.
Madhu also heads India’s premier dance education centre- The Natya Institute of Kathak & Choreography- founded by Dr Maya Rao and Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay (Under the aegis of UNESCO)
Dr Anita Ratnam
Shreedevi Deshpande Puri
K S Narahari
T D Rajendra
Yeshoda M Rao
S M K Rao
M C Ramamurthy
ADMIN & FACULTY
Dr Indu Parthasarathy
Praveen D Rao
Dr B. V Rajaram
Shreedevi Deshpande Puri
S G Vasudev
Dr Vikram Sampath