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Riddham Kathak School
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About
Riddham is one of the few Kathak schools in Bengaluru offering training in Kathak through a beautiful synthesis of the Guru-Shishya parampara and academic education. At Riddham a disciple experiences a healthy Guru-Shishya relationship which enables learning in a methodological manner without it being stressful. In addition to learning Kathak students are also introduced to theory, in house workshops on other forms of performing arts, fine art, films on famous personalities in Indian Classical Dance through videos and discussion. Riddham also has a dedicated team of musicians who offer live musical accompaniment to the students once a week at the class. Every disciple is given an opportunity to perform at least once a year through Riddham’s annual day. Disciples are also encouraged to participate in other events such as Durga Pooja and Ganesh Utsavs. Riddham means ‘enriched’ and brings forth to you Kathak in the Lucknow-Jaipur gharana with a graceful, exquisite, beautiful and aesthetically rich repertoire of Late Guru Pandita Dr. Rohini Bhate. With Guru Rohini ji’s blessing, Smt Sampada Pillai aims at sharing this enrichment with her disciples and audiences. A graceful Kathak dancer who possesses a sound sense of rhythm, understanding of the complexities of ‘Talas’, has a feeling for music and a creative ability to express herself through the language of movement. Sampada was initiated into Kathak at 6 yrs of age and is an alumni of Kala Academy, Goa having trained under Guru Smt. Amala Suri Patkar. Having successfully completed the Parangat diploma in Kathak at Kala Academy, Sampada moved to Pune and came under the tutelage of renowned Kathak legend late Pandita Dr. Rohini Bhate at Nrityabharati Kathak Dance Academy. Sampada brings forth a repertoire in Lucknow-Jaipur gharana of Kathak as established by Guru Rohini ji. Sampada has many solo and group performances to her credits such as performances in the dance festivals at Somnathpur and Halebid-Belur in Karnataka, Nakshatra Utsav, Goa, Nimhan dance festival, Madhya Pradesh to name a few. She has been the lead artiste for all productions of Kala Academy Goa such Kathak Panorama, Krishna Leela, Bharat Darshan and various Kathak choreographies. She has worked in association with German artistes and the fusion choreography titled Music from Air and Water received much acclaim in Goa. In Pune, she has performed through the Nrityabharati group performances. Sampada has co-choreographed a short film- Radha Bhakti Sudha in 2007 which received the Jury’s Special Mention Award at the New York Short Film Festival in 2008. In 2012 Sampada settled in Bangalore and established ‘RIDDHAM – Kathak School’ where she aims to create an awareness on this dance form and train her disciples to the best of her ability. Riddham is located in Yelahanka New Town and currently has 23 disciples. Sampada is also associated with ICPA, Bangalore where she trains 20 disciples in Kathak. “Kathak has enriched my life in ways that I cannot imagine! It has given me the strength to go on when there was no hope, helping me cope and overcome adversities and guiding me towards contentment and serenity. I wish to share this ‘enrichment’ by not just creating good dancers but helping them find inner peace and happiness.” – Sampada Pillai
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