Awantika Dubey
The Singer
The Dancer
The Folk Music
The Singer
Awantika, a child prodigy, started singing from the age of two & half. Noticing her talent and single minded dedication to music her father supported her to study the traditional music of Bundeli singing in her school. From the age of six she was fortunate to be able to train under the exceptional guidance of Shri Gyanesh Zadiya for three years from whom she learnt a wide range of skills in both classical and light vocal music.
When she was nine she joined the Sanskar Rang Toli an excellent theatrics group led by the late Sushri Vibha Mishra. Here she sang for five years in their dramas and was also a playback singer in various film productions for Ms Vibha Mishra. She also performed many times in the National School of Drama in New Delhi and in the programmes of Bharat Bhavan Bhopal.
Awantika completed her degrees in Music, Sanskrit and English at Hari Singh Gaur University under Smt. Asha Khare, who coached her into a particularly fine classical vocalist and taught her the history of Indian Classical Music. She is currently undertaking her masters.
Awantika won the University Youth Festival of Indian Classical Vocal competition and is now a regular performer on All India Radio and many local, regional and national concert events and festivals.
Inspired by nature and the natural world Awantika has always known singing and dancing were her destiny and the way she could best express herself. When she performs she feels the divine becomes alive in her and says “I don’t so much think about entertaining the audience as bringing the music to life in their souls”
She worked as Music Director and Composer of the musical dance drama "The Peace Elephant" in Taiwan and has her dance Choreographies.
Much of her time is now spent running her Nrityanjali Centre where she is training many singers both local and international.
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The Dancer
Awantika started to learn Kathak dance at the age of four under the guidance of the professor of Madhav Music College in Gwalior, Shri Chhavi Kumar Nayak. After completing her primary education she had the fortunate opportunity to learn from Mrs. Neeta Gupta (Masters in Kathak from Kheragarh University). Nourishing this interest in dance she then became a disciple of the renowned Kathak Dancer and Maestro Pt. Ram Mohan Maharaj (Son of Padmashree Shambhu Maharaj). Here she learnt under Guru- Shishya Parampara system where he coached her into a fine classical dancer with a strong discipline and the motivation to be a perfectionist.
Having grown up in Khajuraho where the sound of the Ghongharooes from the legendry dancers at the Khajurhaho Dance Festival motivated her towards dance, Awantika was given the blessings of the legend Padma Vibhushan Pt. Birjumaharaj, who said of her “Awantika is blessed by Maa Saraswati”. She has also been acknowledged and blessed by the great Gurus; Padmashree Shovana Narayanan, Rajendra Gangani, Smt. Malti Shyam & the renowned dancing couple Nirupama Rajendra.
Awantika made her first public performance when six years old and her international debut at fourteen at the India Music and Dance Festival in Taiwan. She now regularly performs, teaches and writes choreographies nationally and internationally.
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Folk music
As stated above Awantika’s training in Bundeli folk music from the age of five together with her father’s enthusiasm and knowledge gave her an exceptional grounding of this traditional art form which is rapidly dying out.
Bundeli or more correctly Bundekhand is the folk culture of Madhya Pradesh for which Awantika holds huge love and respect. Recognising its demise she has endeavoured to preserve some melodies and lyrics and has collected over 2000 traditional songs by travelling to outlying villages, speaking to grandmothers and going to ceremonies such as weddings and noting the songs used at different times and occasions. In the culture, songs were traditionally sung for most if not all activities. For instance, one song would be sung when cleaning the grain for the chapatti flour to be used at the wedding, another song for welcoming guests, songs to tease guests who perhaps arrived a day late having travelled many miles across country, and songs sung when cooking and serving different foods. Families arrived ten days before the wedding day and all activities were accompanied by a song so many songs were sung at a wedding. Then from the day a woman became pregnant different songs were sung and men sang songs for instance when sowing the grain, harvesting or to reassure their wives they would be back safely when travelling away.
Awantika was fortunate to study from the king of folk music Shri Deshraj Pateria. She also received the blessings and support of Smt. Urmila Pandey & Smt. Lakshmi Tripathi. She is a scholar from CCRT India for Folk Music and was for 8 consecutive years the winner of the Bundeli Utsav Basari. She performed in "Bharat Parva" by Swaraj Sansthan Bhopal and is also a regular performer of folk music at the International Folk Art Festival in Taiwan.
She performs a very special Geet Natika based on the hero of Bundelkhand “Lala hardaul” where she merge various varieties of Bundeli music and dance into one form. She teaches Bundeli Music and Culture in her centre.
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