Pta. Maneesha Sathe is a rare mélange of solid, precise ‘Nritta’ (नृत्त) – the Technical Aspect and soulful, heart-warming ‘Abhinay’ (अभिनय) the Expressions Aspect – that Kathak itself comprises.
The first sound of her ghungaroos spreads a whisper through the audience. Her poised silhouette demands the silence of the auditorium and the dim lights brighten gradually to reveal her persona, beaming with an aura of its own. You know who has made an entry on stage, Pta. Maneesha Sathe and none other.
A mere Namaskar puts all anticipation to rest and marks the beginning of yet another enthralling journey, each part of which adds therapeutic value to the audience. Commencing with the ‘Vandana’ (वंदना) to seek blessings from the Gods, we see her transform into an abundantly blessed devotee overwhelmed by her gratitude. While the expressions of her eyes paint out a mystical picture, a sense of focus begins to absorb us. The attention of every spectator has been surrendered.
The ‘Taal’ (Technical aspect) gradually rouses our spell bound senses. Her rhythm takes over and every part of us can feel the beats as well as the stillness of the pauses in between. Her swift ‘chakris’ (pirouettes) and resonating ‘Tatkaar’ (footwork) wield the magic wand and the spectator has little choice but to believe in the unbelievable. Inspiration exudes from the stage.
While the mind is still mending its definition of ‘Impossible’, Guru Maneesha Sathe begins a gentle dialogue with our hearts through her Abhinay (Expressions aspect). Every story depicted with such actuality, her command on emotions makes itself felt when she moves her audience to tears by a mere look.
Rarely does a performance hold the power to evoke otherwise under expressed Emotion. Although the conclusion to every last performance is ovation with deafening applause, the journey doesn’t end with the fall of the curtain. It lives on in the souls of the spectator. Some of them are seen walking out in a silence of their own, for after the mind and heart, it is now when the soul listens to its reawakening.