MUNNA SHUKLA

Munna Shukla (born on December 7, 1943) is a Kathak guru and choreographer and performer in the Lucknow gharana, hailing from a family of artistes. He is a son of the late Vidyavati--classical vocalist and daughter of Kathak maestro Acchan Maharaj—and a nephew of BirjuMaharaj.

Completing his early training with his father Sundar Lal Shukla, Munna Shukla moved to Delhi in 1960 with his great uncle Kathak maestro Shambhu Maharaj, Birju Maharaj and Manika Prasad, a percussionist from whom he learnt the tabla. From 1961, he studied Kathak under Birju Maharaj and under the National Scholarship Scheme of the Ministry of Culture.

From 1968 to 1975, Munna Shukla imparted training to advanced Kathak students, both Indian and foreign, at Kala Chhaya, Pune. During this period, he choreographed many duet and group compositions such Talmala, Talchakra, Himraja, Rajput-Ramani, Shahi-Mehfil, Hindola, Kathak ki Kahani, Holi and Tarana. He also choreographed full-length dance dramas like Kaliyadaman, Makhan leela, Banseeleela, and Shyam Bansuri. He contributed to the Film Institute , Pune, and Marathi theatre with his talent in choreography.

From 1976 till he retired, Munna Shukla was associated with Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. Since then he has been running classes in East Delhi as well as at the  Bharatiya Kala Kendra.

An expert resource person with the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Spic Macay, he is a visiting professor at Nalanda Vishva Vidyalaya. He was invited by Dr.Kanak Rele to give his inputs in designing the course for North Indian Taal and Aesthetics of Kathak.

A number of awards have come his way. The U.P. Sangeet Natak Akademi.Award, 1988, the Sarangdeo Award by Sur Singar SamsadBombay, 1989, and Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman, 2003 are some of them. He received the central Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2006 and the Saraswathi Samman in 2011.

In 2006, he was awarded the SangeetNatakAkademi Award, the highest award for performing artists, conferred by the SangeetNatakAkademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama.

Top