RUJUTA SOMAN

ABOUT

Rujuta Soman is one of the international leading Kathak dancers of India and founder of the Rujuta Soman Cultural Academy.

Rujuta was honed and polished under the tutelage of late Guru Pandita Dr. Rohini Bhate for over 20 years. She has completed her Master’s Degree in Kathak from Pune University. 
 

Born with an artistic flair, Rujuta has also explored the nuances of Taal and Laya under the guidance of Taalyogi Pt. Suresh Talwalkar.

 

Recently she has been learning the intricacies of Jaipur Gharana of Kathak under the able guidance of Pt. Rajendra Gangani.

 

She is creative advisor at Rithwik Foundation for Performing Arts, and also curator at Ishaanya Art & Culture Club of Creativity, Pune.She has been bestowed with many honors and titles like “Nritya Alankaar” by Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and “Singaar Mani” by Sur Singar Samsad. In January 2018, Rujuta has been awarded the “Shree Nandini award" for outstanding contribution in the field of dance by the FIFTH NOTE ACADEMY (a new vertical of Shakhri Begum Memorial Trust) at the hands of Mr. Praveen Kadle, Ustaad Rashid Khan and Prof. Mandavi Singh. She has been awarded with “Dr. Vijaya Bhalerao Kathak Nrutya Puraskar” by Ganawardhan Sanstha, Pune (2019). In 2017, Rujuta presented ‘Rajhansa’ in Kathak with over 13 dancers on stage ( it had lavish sets,costumes and music) on a theme of environmental concerns interlaced with two dancers’ journey and jealousy, and this mega production won the 'Mrinalini Sarabhai Choreography Award at the Trivandrum Festival.'

 

Rujuta is empaneled with 'Established Category' of ICCR's (Indian Council For Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs) reference panel of Artists. Under the aegis of the 'Rujuta Soman Cultural Academy', Rujuta and her dance troupe have delighted and enthralled dance enthusiasts all over India and the world at various prestigious platforms including China, France, United Kingdom and Germany. Through ICCR Rujuta has got an opportunity to travel and showcase Indian Culture through Indian classical dance Kathak along with her senior disciples to the seven European countries Switzerland, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Austria and Spain. The troupe had 17 performances and 2 workshops which were very well received.Rujuta has performed in various prestigious music and dance festivals across India like'Ganasaraswati Mahotsav' on one of the compositions by Ganasaraswati Kishori Amonkar,'Khajuraho Festival', Swarateerth Festival', 'Kathak Mahotsav' by Kathak Kendra and many more.Additionally, she has collaborations with “ Saxophone melody and Kathak” with George Brooks, “Sufi and Kathak” with Suha Khan, “Kathak along with Rajasthani folk music” with the famous Mame Khan, "Flute and Kathak" with the great flautist Pt. Pravin Godkhindi. Rujuta was a part of the concept “Sangam” - a Confluence of Kathak, Sitar and Tabla featuring Purbayan Chatterjee, Ojas Adhiya and Rujuta herself. These performances were remarkably applauded andwell-received.She has to her credit many productions like Rajahansa, Trishna, Krishna Sankeertan, ShivashaktiTatva, Bhairav Bhawataraka and many more which were highly appreciated on various prestigious platforms.

 

Rujuta Soman Cultural Academy and its contribution towards social causes:

The Rujuta Soman Cultural Academy (RSCA) is founded and managed by Rujuta Soman to provide a common platform for her various teaching engagements. In the last two decades RSCA has and continues to impact the preservation and promotion of Kathak at the highest caliberlocally, nationally and internationally. Rujuta explores and shares the experience of dance atvarious levels through performances, training, productions, education and organizing events andlecture demonstrations by stalwarts from the related fields of Indian Classical Dance and Music.The work at RSCA has always included support for the less fortunate sections of our society.Rujuta has conceptualized, choreographed and organized various charity shows in the aid of socialorganizations. Another interesting area of focus for RSCA is the use of Kathak as a therapy.Rujuta knows from her experience that the body and mind work together and can heal each other.She has also used dance therapy techniques at the Seva Sadan and St. Catherine of SienaOrphanage and School, both located in Mumbai.

 

Recently RSCA has created its own unit “Aastha” under which it has collaborated with TataAutocomp Systems and is running majorly two activities, “Dance for Hope'' and "Sound of Hope"to reach out to children at various schools and places with underprivileged students.Aastha has been working dedicatedly to bring joy and a sense of music for the students who don'tusually get a platform to express themselves.

 

FACETS

 

Rujuta has on her facets a video CD "Kathak Ranga"- A duet performance based on traditionalKathak repertoire produced and marketed by "Alurkar Music House" Pune.Rujuta also has the video CD of her production “Bhairav Bhavatarak” produced and marketed byR.S.C.A. Pune.

 

FILM CHOREOGRAPHY

Rujuta has choreographed for the Marathi film 'Bayo' directed by Mr. Gajendra Ahire. She hasalso choreographed and performed in the Marathi film Mai-Baap also directed by Mr. Gajendra Ahire.

Rujuta has also conceptualized and choreographed for some ad films.

"Kathak , of all art forms, is the most subtle yet expansive one, for, it not only encompasses the traditional pure classical compositions but also the contemporary abstractions; keeping up with the needs of times. It has evolved beautifully from a simple temple art of story telling to a very contemporary blend of classicism and modernism. It merges seamlessly with almost any genre of music, thus, easily connecting with a wide range of audience, regardless of age or gender.
 
Kathak has in it, a beautiful blend of grace and strength. For me, as a professional kathak dancer, Kathak is not just an art but a channel to inner peace. It is a form of meditation which not only helps me develop my physical strength but also my emotional and mental strength . It has given me immense strength and positivity to face the problems life has for us."