Training in Kathak : Guru Mrs. Maneesha Sathe, a famous Kathak exponent of India, is the torchbearer of Nataraj Gopi Krishnaji's dance style. Based in Pune (India), Maneeshaji had her initial training from Pt. Balasaheb Gokhale in Pune. Her foresighted and artistically inclined parents then entrusted her development to an eminent Dancer and Guru Nataraj Pt. Gopi Krishna in Mumbai. Years of rigorous and devoted practice polished her dance personality into a scintillating jewel. Her name soon emerged as a promising danseuse and then as an accomplished artiste.
She then obtained ‘ Nritya Alankar' from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya.
- The Performer : A Kathak performer gifted with technical perfection, aesthetic approach, sensitivity and imagination, Maneeshaji has performed on scores of prestigious dance platforms in India as well as in other countries like Sweden, U.K., U.S.A., Canada, Baharain and Japan. Her performances have been appreciated by both : Connoisseurs and laymen.
- Her Dance Style : The style popularized by her Guru was a robust and masculine style, characterized by vigorous leaps and pirouettes. Maneeshaji brought about a balance between the Lasya and Tandava aspects i.e. the feminine and masculine aspects, thereby making the style more suitable for female dancers.
- The Choreographer : As a choreographer, she experimented with a wide variety of themes : traditional, modern, concrete, abstract, folk as well as contemporary. She has choreographed over 200 items in traditional kathak, including Dance – Dramas and Ballets. Her choreographies display a fine balance between various aspects like the use of space, bodylines, design and variety!
- The Founder : In 1975, Maneeshaji founded the Maneesha Nrityalaya Charitable Trust, a Kathak Dance Institute, with the sole aim of training the young generation in Kathak and moreover, providing them a platform for performances. The institute offers many outstanding young dancers to the field of Kathak, who have been trained by Mrs. Maneesha Sathe.
Today, it is really a pleasure to watch the Nrityalaya as a blossomed tree bearing hundred fruits. Now, Maneesha Nrityalaya has three branches in Pune, imparting training to hundreds of youngsters. The students of Nrityalaya have been participating in various prestigious festivals, conferences and competitions all over the Country.
Being a charitable trust, under the Charity Commissioner, Government of India, Pune Division, bearing Certificate No. E/2809/Pune, the Nrityalaya is continuously engaged in serving the society in the form of aids, donations, free programmes and fund raisers.
- The Guru : Maneeshaji's success as a Guru can be judged by the success of her daughter Shambhavi Vaze and many other students who are making their mark in the field of dance as creative and original artistes.
Posts of Honour :
- Member, Advisory Board, Department of Dance,
Tilak Maharashtra University, Pune.
- Member, Advisory Board, Department of Dance, SNDT University, Pune.
- Guru and visiting Lecturer, Centre for Performing Arts, University of Pune.
- Recognized Guide for Doctoral Research, leading to Ph.D. in her field.
- Performances : In India : Maneeshaji has performed all over India including major cities like Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Patna, Bangalore etc. She has got the opportunity twice to perform in Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav a festival of International fame.
- Abroad : She has toured Singapore, Malaysia and Malaya with her Guru in her formative years.
- he has visited Sweden and U.K. to participate in International Youth Festivals.
- She has performed in USA and Canada alongwith a group of her students.
- Also performed in Baharain for Maharashtra Cultural Society.
- She has to her credit, her visits to Japan almost every year for performances and to hold workshops.
- Choreographies : Has choreographed more than 200 items in Traditional Kathak, contemporary, folk and dance – dramas and ballets of which Leonardo Da Uinci, Artists on Antarctica, Wheels, Jatra, Katha Vrikshaki, Mi Kali Mala Phulayche, Dhyas Manicha, Neerakshar Vivek based on concept of Satva, Raja, Tama qualities etc. have been specially noteworthy.
- Choreographed for Marathi Geet Ramayan named as Nritya Leelamrut.
- Dance Direction for Marathi films like 'Vaarsa Laxmicha', which was her debut film and for which she has won the Maharashtra State Best Dance Director's Award. Also worked as a dance director for 'Sarkarnama' which has been a record breaking hit in the history of Marathi Cinema.
- She has also received Best Dance Director's award from Alpha T. V. Marathi for the film Tarunyachya Latewar
- She often performs and choreographs for Mumbai Doordarshan and various television channels.
: Maneeshaji has not stuck to the boundaries of traditional kathak form only. She has ventured into many different fields like fusion projects.
- One of the noteworthy experiments is her attempt at the fusion of kathak with oriental music and Taiko Drums. Since 1991, she has been working on this style of fusion in collaboration with Mr. Yasuhito Takimoto, a renowned composer, key board player and percussionist from Japan. Several programmes of this fusion were presented in India and Japan and received tremendous ovation in both the countries. She has also conducted workshops in Kathak in Japan and has presented Ballets on the Life of Lord Buddha, alongwith her troupe in Japan. For concluding the celebrations of the Silver Jubilee Year of Maneesha Nrityalaya a grand concert of fusion of Japanese music and kathak named Kshitijala Rang Nave.
- Mr. Yasuhito Takimoto had come from Japan exclusively for this concert, alongwith his co-artists and visitors ( more than 50 young artists).
- Thousands of people got that rare opportunity to witness a simply beautiful confluence of experience, expertise and creative insight of both maestros Maneesha Sathe and Mr. Yasuhito Takimoto.
Today, these programmes as well as kathak performances by Maneeshaji and her troupe have become a regular feature in Japan.