I keep reinstating this that I feel honoured and priviledged to have got this wonderful opportunity and platform to give my services towards my sole point of passion and reverence - Kathak. I have been appointed as Chairperson of Advisory Committee, Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. Is it a dream I ask myself. Well even if it is, I envision the future which is a democratic one. A journey of the arts in the most democratic manner. Kathak Kendra is a very important national body. Yet it is not just about Kathak that I want to manifest the present and the future. Art above the artiste, art above the form of art. We have to unite and florish as a whole. India as a nation is diversely rich. Each aspect of the art form has to be integrated and brought to the fore. I have always championed the cause of the dignity of the art forms. And this beautiful responsibility bestowed upon me is a blessing and a huge challenge too, because I have for years made mental notes on what I want our art forms to be seen as. The respect and the recognition the art forms deserve, has to be a reality. We have to grow by interacting with each other as artistes and share the journeys which make each form unique. We as artistes have to respect and understand each other and then the world will understand our strengths. Art has the power to move hearts. It has the power to usher in peace. This is my goal for the tenure. We have history to thank and look forward to. Here on...I look forward to taking concreate steps towards unification and progress on newer frontiers. Jai Hind!
Vidushi Smt. Uma Dogra, a leading Kathak dance exponent enthralling audience for more than 52 years, is one of India's most powerful and compelling dancers. She is the senior - most Ganda Bandh Shagird of the Late Pt. Durga Lal ji, the legendary Kathak maestro of the Jaipur Gharana. She had her early training under Guru Bansi Lal and Smt. Reba Vidyarthi at Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. She has presented her dance in more than 300 cities worldwide and has been invited for lectures at the University of Alberta (Canada), Pt. Jasraj School of Music (Atlanta), University of Florida (Gainesville), Stanford University and University of Los Angeles. For her invaluable contribution towards dance, she has been conferred with prestigious awards like the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar (2014), Maharashtra Gaurav Samman (2015), Maharashtra Sanskriti Rajkiye Puraskar (2009), Honourary Doctor of Art from ITM University, Raipur (2015) and Honourary membership of Min-on Concert Association Tokyo for spreading peace and culture through dance (2008).
Smt. Uma Dogra is the Founder and Managing Trustee of the Samved Society for Performing Arts (Mumbai) and has been organising premier events like the Pt. Durga Lal Festival of Dance and Music and the Raindrops Festival of Indian Classical Dance. Smt. Uma Dogra authored a book titled 'In Praise of Kathak' and has also created a film titled "Nirwana Through Dance: Pt. Durga Lal'.