कथा कहे सो कथक कहलावे (Katha kahe so Kathak Kahalave) – one who narrates a story is known as Kathak. The very origin of Kathak comes from the art of storytelling. This is why ‘Abhinay’, expressions or ‘Nritya’, form an elemental part of Kathak. Mythological episodes, with a focus on stories of Lord Krishna are depicted through this part of Kathak.
Dramatized yet subtle, stylized yet realistic – such is the beautiful balance of Kathak Abhinay, in which the dancer’s expressions are almost as natural as the viewers’ themselves. This allows the audience to relate to every character and wholly immerse themselves into the story.
Yet, to tell a story is one thing, to paint the picture, weave into it every thread of emotion and give life to imagination – is quite another. That is the power of Abhinay that Guru Maneesha Sathe holds. With eyes that change their gaze with every changing emotion, she embodies an astonishing variety of characters. While performing Abhinay, she is no more Pt. Maneesha Sathe; she is the naughty Lord Krishna, the awe-struck Radha, the demon Ravan, the distressed Sita and even the fearless Jatayu. She is none other than the character she embodies.
And although she loses herself into every character she never loses her connect with the viewers. With soulful Abhinay, she carries her audience with her through this journey of emotions. You know they are soul-struck when they’re angry when she is, giggling when she giggles and is moved to tears when she is – an experience they will cherish for life!