Dr. Madhuri Apte

Persistent feet

Dr. Madhuri Apte was the very first and only student to do Ph.D. from Pune University in Kathak on the dance style of her Dada Guru Natraj Pt. Gopikishan Ji whom she has never met and seen on personal note.

Dr. Madhuri Apte was born into a middle-class family with no background in art. She fought her way through various difficulties and struggled to embark on her position as a Kathak exponent. Even though this dance style has been advancing in modern India, classical art forms, has to still fight for its deserved position in Indian society’s perspective. Looking at today’s changing dynamics and losing importance disturbed her a lot.

She had trained under Guru Shishya Prampara by Guru Maneesha Tai Sathe. After her academic journey; rather than leading stepping ladder alone, she decided to contribute towards protecting the rich traditions by running a dance school "Nrityavedh." The school has been running successfully since last 15 years. Through Nrityavedh, she promotes the Kathak Dance art form to common people, striving her way through many struggles and hurdles. Her students have experienced, very closely, the everyday challenges coming her way - right from space crunches to train the students, to the financial crunches in organizing, planning, and execution of the events and workshops single-handedly.

In this commercial world where everything comes at a cost, opting for a rare field like these itself makes it hard on financial terms to survive. She organizes many workshops and events for giving exposure to every individual student of her. Social uplifting is necessary and for that she never loses a chance to highlight art through different modes, be it a lecture demonstration, performances or radio talk shows. She started a radio show called “Introduction of Kathak” on Pune Akashwani Kendra on her cost where by getting a great response from the non-art background common public as well from all artists and critics.

Dr. Madhuri Apte was the very first and only student to do Ph.D. from Pune University in Kathak on dance style of her Dada Guru Natraj Pt. Gopikishan Ji whom she has never meet or seen. The legacy is not just continued by only training her girls (students) into dance but also moulding each one of her student to become a better person first, and dancer later. She says, “To become a better dancer you need to become a better person first.” Dr. Madhuri Apte treats every student of hers as “Majhi Mulgi” (My Daughter). She makes sure that as Aai (Mother) and Tai (Guru) sound similar, the values transferred and bond formed between the Guru and student should also be special and unique.


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