Kathak Kala Sangam

Kathak Kala Sangam

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The Kathak Kala Sangam announces Classes in Music and Dance for the 2020 academic year.

Classes are at the following venues and times:
1. The Sangam’s Studio at 56b Back street, Tunapuna, Trinidad.
Saturdays: 9:00 am to 1.00 pm
• Years 1, 2 and 3 - Kathak Classical and Indian Folk dances

2. The Annex of the Chaguanas Sai Mandir, Corner of Main Road and Cumberbatch Street, (next to the Chaguanas Regional Cooperation)
Sundays: 10:00 – 1:00 pm
• Year 1 and 2 - Vocal
• Year 1 and 2 -Tabla
• Years 1 and 2 - Kathak Classical and Indian Folk dance

Classes are conducted in accordance with prescribed syllabus of study for each discipline.
Tutors:
Vocal - Hindustani Classical, religious & folk Music, and Tabla
Mrs Kavita Bhatia,— (from India)

Dance - Kathak Classical and Indian Folk
Dr. Sat Balkaransingh – Choreographer and performing artist

Register at the venues on Class days.
For further info.
Email: [email protected]
or visit us on Facebook at Kathak Kala Sangam
Tel: 663-9513(O); 685-8420 (M), 799-6015(M), 499-1028(M), or 374-8625(M)
http://www.kaylaharley.com/2019/08/cultural-fabrication-traveling-black.html

It was pleasure to experience the dance Workshop with this school of dancers.
Do enjoy an old Manna Dey song based on Raaga Raageshri

An Experience in Indian Classical and Folk music, dance and art

Operating as usual

02/06/2021

This is a video presentation done by members of the Kathak Kala Sangam for the Hindu Students' Council of Trinidad & Tobago in recognition and celebration of 176 years of Indian Arrival in Trinidad & Tobago.
Enjoy! Zidane Roopnarine

31/05/2021

Indian Arrival Day Celebrations 2021

Members of the Kathak Kala Sangam have compiled a short virtual concert in commemoration of Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago. Thank you for your continued support in keeping the Culture of our ancestors alive. Enjoy!

23/05/2021

COVID-19 has a wide range of symptoms. Find out more here ⬇️

13/05/2021

The Kathak Kala Sangam wishes Eid Mubarak to the Muslim Community on this most auspicious day. We know that celebrations will be different this year but we join in prayer that this pandemic will be soon over. Continue to stay safe.

The Kathak Kala Sangam wishes Eid Mubarak to the Muslim Community on this most auspicious day. We know that celebrations will be different this year but we join in prayer that this pandemic will be soon over. Continue to stay safe.

29/04/2021

Happy International Dance Day! The past year has been really trying for us, we miss the big stage! We pray to soon return. But until then....keep dancing!

Happy International Dance Day! The past year has been really trying for us, we miss the big stage! We pray to soon return. But until then....keep dancing!

28/03/2021

Happy Holi!

23/03/2021

Today we celebrate the Birthday of our Artistic Directer, Dr. Satnarine Balkaransingh. We wish him many more happy, healthy and wonderful birthdays ahead.

Today we celebrate the Birthday of our Artistic Directer, Dr. Satnarine Balkaransingh. We wish him many more happy, healthy and wonderful birthdays ahead.

20/03/2021

Saturday tatkaar is always the best!!! #keepdancing #buildthatstamina

11/03/2021

As we celebrate Maha ShivRaatri, this item performed by Reshma Seetahal is in praise of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is also known as Nataraja, the cosmic dancer.

08/03/2021
24/02/2021

The Kathak Kala Sangam hosted its annual “Saraswati Jayanti” celebrations on Sunday 21st February, 2021. Today we are featured on the Guardian Newspaper.

The Kathak Kala Sangam hosted its annual “Saraswati Jayanti” celebrations on Sunday 21st February, 2021. Today we are featured on the Guardian Newspaper.

16/02/2021

The celebration of the Basant Panchami is centered on Goddess Sarasvati. She is the goddess of wisdom. She embodies the different facets of learning such as the sciences, arts, crafts and skills. As students, artistes, teachers, we ask that she continues to give us the opportunities to grow, learn and expand our horizons. Shubh Basant Panchami!

The celebration of the Basant Panchami is centered on Goddess Sarasvati. She is the goddess of wisdom. She embodies the different facets of learning such as the sciences, arts, crafts and skills. As students, artistes, teachers, we ask that she continues to give us the opportunities to grow, learn and expand our horizons. Shubh Basant Panchami!

30/01/2021

Saturdays are always fun at the studio! Enjoy!
Reshma Seetahal Zidane Roopnarine Leanda Vandana Bidaisee

31/12/2020

PROF. HARI SHANKAR ADESH
TRIBUTE TO A PIONEER
(Education, Languages, Religion and the Arts)
By
Satnarine Balkaransingh Ph.D.

Trinidad and Tobago and the world mourn the ascension of a modern-day colossus of music, language, literature, religious and spiritual teachings; composer, poet, author and foremost mentor and guide; Professor Hari Shankar Adesh, into the great beyond. Born in India he came to Trinidad as a diplomat in the Indian High Commission on November 19. 1966, to serve in the capacity as Hindi Officer. Recognising the need for an academic and cultural injection into the community, with missionary zeal he set about to teach, to prepare texts and scripts, to lecture and perform. He travelled the world, lived in other countries, but ended his days in Trinidad. Guru-ji, the master mentor, breathed his last on Sunday December 27, at the Adesh Ashram, Aranguez San Juan. Celebrating his life, whilst simultaneously mourning, were his life’s companion Dr. guru Nirmala Adesh, two grown children; adults (Vivek and Surabhi); grandchildren, and his thousands of other student-disciples and artistes who had the pleasure of being part of the extended family of Bharatiya Vidya Sansthan (BVS), International (T&T, Canada and USA); the organisation founded by him, in Trinidad, over half a century ago.
The first two subjects taught here by him, were Hindi and Music. One of his first students was the late, eminent local vocalist, Isaac Yankaran. As Trinidadians’ thirst for knowledge grew and the demands of the community became more apparent, he introduced more subject areas in his programme of instruction and training. Today, five and a half decades later, no conference, no seminar or gathering that is organised to discuss topics on Indian education, languages, poetry, religion or the performing arts in Trinidad and Tobago, and this part of the world can be complete without the actual presence of, or discussions on the role of Prof. H.S. Adesh or guru ji (respected teacher or mentor), as he is affectionately called.
To fully appreciate the profound contribution of H.S Adesh – variously referred to as Sant, Pandit, Maha Kavi (great poet) and Kula Guru (eminent guide and mentor) - and the quiet, yet dynamic role in which his other half, Dr. Nirmala Adesh, assisted, one has to place it within a historical perspective. With the end of Indian contract labour in 1917; approximately eighty (80%) per cent of the roughly one hundred and fourty seven thousand immigrants had remained on the island. By 1921, out of this entire Indian community only one hundred and eighty nine (189) persons were classified, according to official statistics, as ‘officials and professional'; the majority belonged to the categories of nurses and teachers. These migrants and their off-springs, accepting Trinidad as their home, proceeded in earnest to achieve economic self-reliance. They initially and naturally took to agriculture, the job which they knew best. From the 1920’s to the 1950’s they basically reorganised their economic, social and religious life in keeping with their historical antecedents, personal aspirations for self-sufficiency, and the demands of the new environment. Emphasis was placed on academic improvement; Indian Trinidadian families worked extra hard, spending life savings on the education of their children. By the 1940’s (the 100th anniversary of Indians in Trinidad and Tobago – 1945) greater numbers of Indians were attaining higher academic training in the metropoles of Europe and North America.
This western education certainly brought professionalism and financial prosperity; but it also led to a loss of many of their ancestral languages which came to Trinidad; over sixteen; including Sanskrit, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Brij Bhasha, Urdu, Tamil and Bengali. Caribbean plantation life was also resulting in the deterioration of the quality of their ancestral art forms and religious pursuits. The concomitant, gradual change in value system, norms and cultural patterns became increasingly evident. In the performing arts, the impact of the Indian films (introduced in Trinidad 1935) resulted in the dilution of the existing Indian folk music, dance and folk theatre, such as Rama Leela, Harichand (Harischand) and Indar Sabha. Moreover, in this scenario, Indian music and dance and their practitioners enjoyed little or no pride of place in the hierarchy of our national, social stratification. The existing ‘class’ element of the society was apparent in the arts. Artistes were at the bottom of the ladder; appreciated mainly for their entertainment value. By the 1960’s Indian songs, music folk dance and dramatic arts in Trinidad were becoming largely imitations of commercial, Hindi films. Culturally conscious people were becoming aware of the need to pursue the study of ancestral traditions: the Indian languages, literature, arts and philosophy in order to both maintain and strengthen cultural identity. With the achievement of Trinidad and Tobago’s independence in 1962, Indo-Trinidadians needed, more than ever, to become equal partners in forging a new destiny for themselves in this truly diverse culture and multi-faceted society.
The arrival of Prof. Adesh to Trinidad in 1966 therefore was opportune and ideally timed. He was eminently qualified; B.A, M.A., Sahitya Alankar, and impeccably trained in music, He had studied the Arts under eminent masters; vocal music under Pandit Tara Shankar Rakesh of the Baba Ramdass Gharana (school) of Benaras, and tabla under Pt. V.S. Anlesh, the renowned Pakhawaj player and disciple of Pt. Ayodhya Prasad of Rampur. He was also very experienced; Head of Department of Music, Kashmir University, in Srinagar. He possessed a winning and charismatic personality. Through constant assessment and retailoring of his offerings he continued teaching, training, writing, and lecturing on religion, philosophy and spirituality; guiding those who came into contact with him; and hundreds did come. In short, he took charge of the holistic development of his disciplines. He influenced and directed people, and in some cases accelerated the process of sending students to India, the new education and training destination.
In Trinidad, through the Bharatiya Vidya Sansthan which he founded, he introduced and taught the languages of Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit in a systemic and academic way. By 1967 he was already conducting examinations in various subjects, based on prepared syllabuses. To soften the learning process, he even dignified some exam results. There were 1st, 11nd and 111rd division markings. He reduced the blow of a 111rd division certificate to its recipients; he announced it as ‘1stdivision with two lieutenants on either side’. He re-introduced into Trinidad, some musical instruments and other new ones: the Santoor, Jal Tarang, Sarod, Pakhawaj, Sarangi, sitar, flute, mandolin, tabla and harmonium; teaching them at the theoretical and practical levels. Shrimate Nirmala Adesh - she was to receive a PhD later on - introduced and taught the Indian classical dance-form of Kathak to enthusiastic students. In addition to the above subject areas, Professor Adesh added a literary side to the Institution. He introduced the magazine Jyoti which was prepared, published and printed by BVS. Jyoti contained, among other things, the curriculum of the BVS academic offerings; the ragas or melodic modes being taught, language lessons plus articles on music, art, religion and philosophy. He introduced the Swar sansar (artists in training) class, providing additional training; personalised training, to those with potential for greater development. He did not wait for people to come to him. Prof Adesh went out to meet the people. Chaguanas Vedic School, the venue of one of his centres, a beehive of activities in his early days of training, became ‘Yankaran Memorial’. He influenced radio host, Hans Hanoomansingh, to expand his radio programming, even suggesting new names: Jai Bharati and Sapno ka Desh: He even provided local artistic content for some of these programmes,[i]and other live performances directed by his friend the late Aubrey Adams.
The concept of live-in learning - residential annual camps - was introduced in the 1970s where students and persons interested in Indian knowledge lived as one family, for one week. The camp was initially conducted on the scenic, north-eastern sea coast of Trinidad. This venture, like the others, was highly successful. Bharatiya Vidya Sansthan had become an all-embracing Institute, conforming to the lofty ideals of the Indian concept of dharmic living, a holistic development of the individual and the society. It was the first time in independent Trinidad and Tobago that an all-embracing hermitage had been established, yet within a rather, less-formal ‘Ashram’ discipline, conforming more to an Indian socio-cultural value system within the Caribbean setting.
Studying in India in 1967 was an elusive dream. By 1971, BVS students were making the pilgrimage there to study; art, music, dance, Hindi and academia at major tertiary level institutions; Chandradath Singh, this author, and Uttam Maharaj (deceased) who became a Pundit and Dharmacharya of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha of Trinidad and Tobago. More followed: Sahodra Siew (deceased) former Kathak dancer; Orissi dancer, choreographer and author, Sandra Sookdeo; Dr Mungal Patasar, all on scholarships; all former students of Adesh. Meticulous guide that he was, he even followed up on some of his student’s training in India. He visited the Kathak Kendra, sometime in 1973-74, to enquire from my master, Pandit Birju Maharaj, on my progress. Today dozens of his students have graduated with ordinary and advanced levels certificates, external degrees in Hindi language from the University of Cambridge, and Diplomas from the Central Hindi Institution in Agra, India. Many of his language graduates are teaching Hindi in schools and elsewhere. Many others have completed the degree of Sangeet Kalanidhiand masters programmes, and have produced research theses on topics relevant to Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean, the Americas and their wider Diasporas.
Earlier, when our people heard the musical notes (swar-s) sa, re, ga, ma they referred to it as ‘Adesh music’. Today sa, re, ga, ma... is recognised as Indian classical music notation and vocalists like Mohan and Mukunlal Shamlal, Kalliecharan Dookie, Sangeet Sarika Uma Boodram, Sharda Maharaj, Kadambari and Surabhi Adesh; Flautists like Doon Ramsundar and Narendra Maharaj; tabla players, Amar Rajkumar and Shivan Seenath; and instrumentalists of the calibre of Mungal Patasar, Narendra Maharaj (saxophone) and Shivanand Maharaj (violin) are now commanding the attention of packed audiences; some internationally.
In his personal capacity Prof. Adesh has written over three hundred books, including five children books, nine short stories, two novels, twenty five one-act plays and full -length dramas, fourteen bilingual musical texts, composed over 1,000 classical compositions and over 20 song books. He composed songs for each festival and major occasions. He has also composed Urdu Shairi and has translated the religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, in Hindi Poetry. He added to the world body of knowledge, publishing seven (7) Epics, with the 8th unfinished; the only author in any language, in recorded history, to have achieved such heights. The national anthem of Trinidad and Tobago is now sung in Hindi, thanks to his translation.
At the time of his passing (August 7, 1936- Dec 27, 2020), Prof Adesh had conducted over 46 annual camps in Trinidad, attracting international campers. He was the editor- in- chief of four international magazines, including Jyoti and Jewan Jyoti Magazines. His intellectual work is now the subject of literary analysis and studies in many centres of higher learning, spanning USA, Canada, UK, Holland, Thailand and Nepal, and back to India. His compositions are studied and sung at Delhi and several other Universities.
He has been honoured on innumerable occasions; in the Caribbean (10 times); Canada (7); USA (6 times, including ‘Great Minds of the 21st Century’ and ‘World Laureate 2002’ by the American Biographical Institute); India (20); Holland, Thailand and Nepal. In the UK, Prof Adesh was listed as ‘International Man of The Year’ 2003 (I.B.C., Cambridge); a living legend and one of 500 Founders of the 21st Century (published in the Dictionary of International Biography 30th Ed.[I.B.C., Cambridge]). The recipient of Trinidad and Tobago’s national award, the Humming Bird Medal, (Gold), for contribution to Culture, this distinguished scholar, educator, poet, musician and author had been robed with the prestigious “Shawl of Honour” on no less than eleven times, an honour conferred to internationally distinguished persons.
When one analyses his contribution in the field of religion, philosophy, languages, the performing arts, linguistics and diplomacy, no one so far, whether individual or organisation has single-handedly taught, trained, influenced, encouraged and has been such an excellent role model as teacher, performer and mentor. And this has been achieved without any State support. Among the literally thousands of students who have sat ‘at the feet’ of Sangeet acharya Adesh, was the former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr Basdeo Panday.
At the funeral services, on Wednesday December 30, tributes continued to pour in from across the globe - including the government of India, through the Indian high Commission in Port-of-Spain - and were being shared with the mourners; nay celebrants of his life’s work. It was all incorporated within the ‘antim samskara’, the final rites, performed for this famous son of the world who had chosen to make Trinidad his home. When one speaks of Diaspora and commences any analysis of the contribution and influence of diasporic people; whether Trinbagonian or Indian, the name Hari Shankar Adesh looms significant for his sterling contribution; he has indelibly painted his presence on the cultural canvas of Trinidad and Tobago, North America, Europe, Asia and his homeland, India.
Dr Hans Hanoomansingh, one of Adesh’s closest friends since 1965, using poet laureate, Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali, beautifully summed up the Acharya’s (teacher’s) work here through the BVS ; ‘where knowledge is free; and ‘tireless striving stretches its arm towards perfection …where the clear stream of reason…and the mind is led forward into ever widening thought and action.’ He ended with; ‘into that heaven of freedom,’ the great poet, Adesh, strove for this country, and it people, to awake. What a fitting farewell. Guru Adesh positively influenced the aesthetics of the country, providing the nation with self-confidence, self-esteem and the instruments for re-defining itself; the nation - as people with self-worth; capable of finding their place and living in unity and harmony within this diversity that is Trinidad and Tobago. His contribution to the holistic development of this blessed land, and to the global village, is colossal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Author’s by line:
Dr. Sat Balkaransingh is an author, educator, performing artist, arts administrator and former senior public servant. He studied in Trinidad, India and UK; founded the Kathak Kala Sangam and co-founded the Nrityanjali theatre; he speaks internationally on culture, socio-economic development and diasporic issues. Email;[email protected]; www.kathakkalssangam.com
Source material: Archive of the Bharatiya Vidya Sansthan (BVS) international.
[i] The public address of Hans Hanoomansingh on the opening of the 42 Indian cultural Camp of BVS. July 25 2012 at the Ashram Aranguez, Trinidad .

Videos (show all)

Indian Arrival Day Celebrations 2021
Throwback to our Saraswatie Jyanti Celebrations 2019. #kathakkalasangamtt
More clips from our recent workshop with the Habana Compas Dance  Group of Cuba. #kathakkalasangamtt
A short clip from recent  Kathak and Flamenco workshop. This workshop was conducted  by Artistic Director of the KKS in ...

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Level 2, 56B Back Street
Tunapuna

Opening Hours

Wednesday 17:00 - 19:00
Saturday 09:00 - 12:00
Sunday 09:00 - 13:30
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