The IHC (Habitat World Art & Culture) is doing the first-ever major focus on Indian dance pioneer, scholar, collector and father- figure of archiving, the late Prof Mohan Khokar starting on his 20th death anniversary – September 17. The first male student of Kalakshetra in 1945, he was also the founder-head of Baroda MS University dance department and later became OSD in the then Education Ministry before becoming Secretary of the central Sangeet Natak Akademi. His lifetime work is platformed through his famed Dance Collection now donated to the IGNCA.
The nine episodes of the IHC series, denoting the Navarasa, will be virtually platformed, one each week. Subjects covered will be progressive theme wise: first on the scholar and his collection; the second on A century of Indian dance, as it unfolded; third, Pioneers; fourth on concepts like choreography, fifth on Bharatanatyam gurus, sixth on Odissi, seventh on Indian dance abroad, the eighth on guru shishya parampra, and the final episode on the modern dance today.
Anchored, curated and conceptualised by Ashish Khokar, son and successor, himself a well known dance personality, historian, author and critic, the aim of the series “is to connect old Bharat with young India”. Between two Khokars, India’s 100 plus years of dance history and heritage is saved for the nation to savour.
Ashish Khokar has now trusted the revived IGNCA under Dr Joshi, to be recipient of this mammoth collection, donated in 2018 to them. Trustees Sonal Mansingh, Padma Subrahmanyam, Bharat Gupt and Saryu Doshi and others have supported this cause celebre and some are part of this series. The A to Z of Indian dance will be the canvas of this nine-week event for HABITAT, which had the wisdom and eye to grab this rare offering.