Murari Sharan Gupta is a Kathak dancer and the founder of Samam-Center for Movement and Dance, a dance school. Her motivation was to share her love and knowledge of dance with others in the city.
As a child, he was inspired by his older brother, Raghaw Sah, an accomplished Kathak artist. “The way he was able to transport his audience to another realm was what motivated me in the first place. He took me under his wing and I started learning Kathak under his guidance from the age of 8 years old. So I learned the basics of Kathak from my brother. When I was about 15 years old, I came under the tutelage of Birju Maharaj whom I affectionately call Maharajji “, he shares.
The dance school doubles as an NGO which works to teach dance and music to children from underprivileged communities. To this end, they organize workshops in the villages of Bangalore, Kolar, Bihar and Tamil Nadu and surrounding areas. “We want to reach as many children as possible and train them to become dancers, teachers and choreographers,” he explains.
There is a lack of appreciation and understanding of the country’s cultural heritage, which he attributes to the influence of Bollywood music and other international dance forms like
contemporary dance and oriental dance. “More and more parents are sending their children to learn these
instead of traditional forms of dance and music. But, our classical forms also teach us about the values and the richness of our country’s culture and heritage, ”he says.