Mrs Prerna Agrawal is a multi-faceted personality. Be it Dance, Education or Philanthropy; she’s not just the jack of all, but also the master of all. Prerna started learning Kathak at the age of four under highly distinguished Gurus, namely Late Shri Surendra Rathore (Lucknow Gharana), Dr Rashmi Dubey (Lucknow Gharana) and Shri Vinay Kumar Ji (Jaipur Gharana). Her association with Kathak is over forty years long. In her student life, she won several awards at various inter-college, state level and national level competitions; wherein she displayed her immense talent for dance as well as other skills like creative writing, tabla, rangoli and several art forms. Prerna has been an exceptional student throughout her student life. She excelled at both studies and extra-curriculars. Owing to her distinguished overall performance, she was nominated as the University Representative of Barkatullah University, Bhopal. Prerna holds a Post-Graduate each in Kathak Dance, Economics and Hindi Literature along with B.Ed. Prerna has been in teaching profession for almost two decades. She joined Manovikas Highschool, Margao, Goa in 2001 and was associated with it for ten years. During her tenure at Manovikas, she trained several students in Kathak and various other Indian Dance Forms. She executed large scale dance performances involving hundreds of students at the school annual functions and also led several students to victories at inter-school and state level dance competitions. Along with Dance, she also taught Hindi as a subject at school. Post her teaching tenure at school, Prerna started taking Hindi teaching classes and produced state toppers in Hindi Subject at 10th ICSE Board Exams.
Prerna’s never ending passion for Kathak Dance encouraged her to set up a Kathak Training Institute in 2014 to spread awareness about this dance form in Goa. Her students ranged from young girls to housewives to working ladies. Being a strong believer of women empowerment, Prerna wanted the women of today to learn about Kathak and its benefits, practice it and express themselves through dance. In 2017, the Institute obtained an affiliation from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. It was named “Prerna’s Samanvay Cultural Kathak Academy”. Along with imparting training, the Institute also offers degree courses in Kathak. Currently, the classes are being conducted in Margao, Panjim and BITS Goa Campus and training about fifty students. Prerna frequently conducts Kathak Workshops, Seasonal Camps, Events and Lectures at various Schools, Colleges and NGOs. She is a frequent invitee to judge at several College Fests and Competitions. In 2017, along with her students, Prerna held a one of its kind Kathak Flash Mob event at Benaulim Beach, Goa.
On 23rd October 2018 Prerna's Samanvay Kathak organized its 1st ever Kathak program, "Shakti- An evening of Social Awareness" Dance Event at Rabindra Bhavan, Margao, Goa. The students of Samanvay performed amazing pieces of dance forms displaying their skills in basics and advanced forms of Kathak choreographed and trained my Mrs Prerna Agrawal.
For her contribution to Art and Culture, Prerna Agrawal was felicitated by the Rotary Club on the occasion of Teacher’s Day this year. Go Womania Goa felicitated her in appreciation of her wonderful work in support of women empowerment through Samanvay Cultural Kathak Academy on 8th March 2019. Footwork’s Dance and Fitness Studio felicitated her for women empowerment in their event “Mardaani” on 14th April 2019. Samrat Club felicitated her for contribution in Art on their Silver Jubilee program.
Even though Kathak is an Indian Dance Form, Prerna has taken it to the global platform. She also conducts seasonal batches to train Foreign Nationals who take keen interest in knowing about Kathak. Even though she has been teaching Kathak for years, learning never ends for Prerna. In recent years, she attended workshops under Kathak Maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj Ji and Shree Pratap Pawar Ji. This year she attended a workshop under the mentorship of Kathak Maestro Puru Dadeech in Pune. The learnings from these greats have added immensely to her knowledge and craft. This year, Doordarshan MP invited Prerna for an interview, where she spoke at length about her learnings and contribution to Kathak, Art and Culture and Women Empowerment. At the onset of Women’s Day, Mrs Prerna was invited by 92.7 FM Radio Channel for an interview by RJ Uday, wherein she spoke about her life and role of dance.
Prerna has a flare for writing. Through her poems and prose, she addresses social issues like dowry, exploitation of women, etc. Among her many interests is cooking. She enjoys cooking and innovating dishes. She has not only won, but also judged cooking contests. To promote Indian Culture, she teaches Indian Cooking to her International students as well.
Philanthropy is something that Prerna is very actively involved in. She is a part of The Rotary Club “Sunrise”, Margao and undertakes projects to help people in need. She also independently conducts fundraising events to do her bit for the society. She conducts special classes to teach Kathak to underprivileged children who cannot afford to pay the fees. Every year she is invited by Samrat Club for a day’s dance session for children at their Summer Camp which she does for the love of it. Prerna is a strong advocate of Human Rights and is a member of International Human Rights Association, through which she helps create awareness about Human Rights and their violation amongst people. This year she conceptualized the idea of a Utensils Bank and it became operational from the first week of March 2019 by the name “Utensils Bank of Goa (UBG). The idea is to carry forward the philosophy of “Swachh Bharat” and to lend people with steel utensils and cutlery to use for parties and events so that they avoid using plastic. They shall return it after use. It is a community service and being done free of charge.
Prerna strongly believes in giving back to society. Last year during Christmas, she made a donation for the welfare of the kids at “Stepping Stones” organization. On Vanmohotsav, she donated hundred plants to The Rotary Club. She also donated uniforms to the students of Cuncolim Govt School and notebooks to Dharbandora School.
“Good Deeds, Good Thoughts and Good Words”. This is the ultimate philosophy of Mrs Prerna’s life.
Mrs Prerna Agrawal is highly passionate about Kathak. She started learning dance at the age of two and her journey is going on. She is a Post Graduate in Classical Kathak Dance from Raja Mansingh Tomar University and Nritya Prabhakar From Prayaag sangit samiti Allahabad.She also holds a Post Graduate in Economics and Hindi Literature and a B.Ed as well. She worked as a teacher at Manovikas School(ICSC Board)for ten years. She trained her students to represent the school at various State Level Dance Competitions and win awards. She has been invited to judge various dance competitions as well. Presently, she's conducting Kathak classes in Margao and Panjim. She is constantly working for widespread recognition of Kathak in Goa. Her ultimate dream is to fulfil the desire of every person to learn this dance form and to bring a smile on their face.
The aim of a performing art like dance is entertainment of the audience as well as the bliss of the dancer himself. Learning a dance style itself is a journey that benefits on every step. Even if one learns the dance style for the joy of dance, the learning process boons him with numerous allied benefits and Kathak dance form is not an exception. Following are some benefits of kathak learning as well as performing.
Dance in general is a great form of exercise that keeps your body in shape. Additionally, kathak as an individual style benefits immensely to the performer.
> The Basic स्थानक or standing position of Kathak is in itself an ‘Asana’. It involves straight alignment of spine and neck as well as pressure on both the hands right from arms.
> The Nritta part of kathak involves rhythmic and harmonious movement of every body part. This includes not only hand and leg movements but many subtle movements. Neck movements and jerks especially while coming on sam, wrist movement which are called as Kalai etc. Hence, nritta part of Kathak can be termed as complete body exercise.
> Dol is performed in the thaat part of kathak. This is a unique body movement that improves balance of the body when dancer tries to sway his or her complete body in a circular direction rhythmically with the feet fixed at one place.
> Tatkar is an integral part of kathak. Tatkar involves complete leg exercise, giving stress on hips, calves and knees.
> Taiyari or proficiency in kathak demands countless Riyaz. This practice sessions increase stamina and are a complete form of work-out.
> Kathak performer also communicated and recites (Padhant) while performing. This improves breathing capacity.
> Lifts or Chari are sometimes used in the nritta part. They work as an aerobic exercise.
> Bhramari or Chakkar is speciality of Kathak that improves balance and stamina.
> Riyaz of kathak makes you light-feet and increases flexibility.
> Various systematic movements of body parts are used in kathak that are technically called as Shiro bheda (Head movements), Greeva bhed (Neck movements), Drushti bheda (Eye movements), Bhrukuti bhed (Eyebrow movements). These movements are as good as Yogic exercises.
> Kathak learning helps in personality development. As a dancer and performer, you learn to carry yourself gracefully.
> Kathak improves concentration. Kathak movements require harmony and coordination of hand – feet – eye – neck movements together. This improves concentration.
> Bhav anga of Kathak is a therapy in itself. While presenting a Nayika, dancer goes in to the skin of the character and experiences the emotions. This is a stress busting release of emotions known as catharsis.
> Riyaz of Kathak induces meditative stage when dancer immerses himself in to the harmony of rhythm and movements.
> Kathak learning gives the dancer the aesthetic bliss that is the bliss resulting from the beauty, the beauty of body movements, the beauty of rhythmic patterns, beauty of emotions and the beauty of harmony.
> Learning process of Kathak gives one self-discipline and teaches one to strive for accuracy.
> Kathak Riyaz involves footwork in a constant fast speed. This Riyaz of tatkar gives you trance-like state and is considered as good therapy for anger.
> Group choreographies are major part of modern Kathak learning and performing. Performing in a group teaches you about the mutual understanding and team work.
> Kathak learning improves concentration.
> Emotional intelligence and Bhav Anga.
> Kathak learning and performing brings Intellectual Stimulation. Kathak compositions are set in rhythmic cycle of taal. Dancer needs to perform number of movements in a particular speed and reach sam. This encourages alertness and quickness.
> Sequential learning in Kathak is beneficia
> l for brain
> Learning of patterns of body movements as well as rhythmic patterns on bols is beneficial for brain.
> > Kathak learning stimulates both right and left-brain development with the bhav anga and taal anga learning. Right and left-brain development, leads to holistic thinking.
Kathak is one of the most popular classical dance forms in India. Kathak is considered to be one of the oldest forms of Indian classical dance and it is believed to be have originated from the traveling bards of North India referred to as Kathakars or storytellers. The term Kathak is originated from the Sanskrit word “Katha”, which means story and the word “Kathaka,“ which literally means the “storyteller.” These Kathakars wandered around and told devotional stories to the community via music, dance, and songs. They used to communicate the stories through rhythmic foot movements, facial expressions, hand gestures and eye movements. The stories were taken from the Indian Epics and most of them were regarding life events of Lord Krishna.
There are a lot of instruments played during the Kathak to enhance performance. Among them, Tabla is one of the major instrument which synchronizes well with the rhythmic foot works of the dancer. A manjira that is hand cymbals and sarangi or harmonium are also used to enhance the performance.
Dance is meditation. It keeps your mind serene. Eternal bliss, supreme peace, eternal satisfaction , infinite happiness and unbroken joy can be had only by doing Riyaz. Your Art demands nothing but just your devotion and focus . Yet what it gives you back is the priceless serenity and a positive outlook towards the world .You attain self realisation through exclusive devotion to your art . Kathak for life❤️
"Prerna's Samanvay Kathak, Affiliated with Prayag University. Post Graduate in Classical Kathak Dance."Prerna Agarwal
"More than 20 years of combined work experience. As a teacher, as a professional Kathak dancer, as an Educationialist. Worked as a teacher at Manovikas School for ten years. "Prerna Agarwal
"Trained her students to represent the school at various State Level Dance Competitions and win awards. "Prerna Agarwal
"Running total 5 Kathak classes around Goa.
Invited to judge various dance competitions as well. "
The inspiring thing about Kathak is that it represents all the things that are beautiful in life.. things that radiate and mirror the soul.