World Dance Congress in Mumbai

The World Dance Congress (India) or the WDCI - the international exposition, forum, seminar and think thank on dance, dance forms and other related performing arts will hold its annual two-day meet in Mumbai in June, Ranjana Bhattacharya, kathak exponent and secretary of the WDCI disclosed in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Kathak Queen Sitara Devi, Jayantimala, Ranjana Bhattacharya, Purnima Behl and three other Indian dancers will be specially honored for their
outstanding contribution to Indian classical dance, a release from the  WDCI said.

The WDCI will be hosted, sponsored and supported by the Craftsmen, Artistes & Designers Promotion Forum or CADPF – an umbrella association promoting craftsmen, artisans, artistes and designers in India.

The 94-year-old-plus Sitara Devi who will be presented with the Lifetime Award for her contribution to Kathak has been living in Mumbai for over 80 years. She started performing solo at the age of 10 and by 16 was teaching others dance.

According to a CADPF spokesperson -  which proposed Sitara Devi's name for the Lifetime Award, Sitara Devi and her daughter Jayanitmala run the Kala Kriti Kendra which has been teaching dance and particularly Kathak to Anganwadi children, the poor and the lesser privileged for the last 15 years.
Kala Kriti Kendra also offers financial support and help to deserving senior artistes and dancers to help them tide over their difficulties. Sitara Devi has been doing a lot of charity for the last 5 decades, but she has never highlighted or publicized that part of her life keeping her secrets close to her heart, Ranjana Bhattacharya said.

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