The classical Indian dance form Kathak is one of the most widely spread dance forms, which has given the world some outstanding and expressive performers. Pta. Shamatai Bhate is one of the most leading amongst them, not just as a performer but also a teacher.
A disciple of the renowned Kathak danseuse and Guru late Smt. Rohinitai Bhate, Shamatai has also trained under the redoubtable Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj and Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar. Imbibing the best from these masters, she has developed her own form of expression and is engrossed in nurturing a whole new generation of talented performers, who will carry forward this great dance form across the borders of the nations. Many of Shamatai’s students are running their own Kathak schools very successfully.
Shamatai’s theoretical study of Kathak makes her a discerning critic and reviewer. Even as her dance remains strictly traditional, she is quick to explore the possibilities of innovative joint ventures. She has been doing collaborative productions with some of the topnotch jazz ensembles of this world.
She is also recognized as amongst the best choreographers of Kathak. She has choreographed outstanding ballets like ‘Mahabharata Reinterpreted’ – the epic retold through 7 classical Indian dance styles, ‘Chala Vahi Des’ – based on the devotional poems of Saint Meerabai, ‘Peed Parayi Jaane Re’ – a ballet on the life of Kasturba Gandhi and many others, which have left an indelible impression on the classical dance scene of the world. She is also the recipient of many honours and awards.