Shortlist | Dance

This DU Student Makes Kathak Look Easy

Madiha Musarrat, a student of English Literature at Jamia Millia Islamia College in Delhi, gracefully showcases her Kathak moves in this video.

Someone rightly said, “The only thing that puts us in a hierarchy is our effort.” And the amount of effort that Madiha Musarrat puts in for all her work is what makes her stand out in the crowd. Madiha, a second year student in MA English from Jamia Millia Islamia is a Dancer, and a theatre artist. She is the founder of ‘Expressions’, the dramatic society of the English Department, Jamia Millia Islamia.

Since her childhood, Madiha was fascinated by the character of the Clown. She always wanted to play the character of Clown and on one of those lucky days she got the opportunity to play the character of a Shakespearean Clown in ‘The Shakespearean Society of India’. And to her utmost surprise, she won the best actor on Comic Role, and most rightly so.

As she recalls her journey she tells us about one of her best memories. “I have attended various workshops from National School of Drama. It was an honour for me to perform at Bharat Rang Mahotsav and Jasn-e-Bachpan. These are international theatre festivals organised by NSD. Additionally, I have also worked as a show RJ and junior artist in All India Radio. However, performing Kathak in the esteemed presence of Deepak Maharaj in Shah Auditorium was the most beautiful memory of my art. Nothing beats that!

Madiha has been formally trained in Kathak.

I have done my Diploma in Kathak from an insititute affiliated to Prayag Sangeet Samiti.

Why Kathak and Theatre? What got her into this?

“I have never asked this question to myself because I don’t feel the need to do so. It is like they have been part of my life since childhood and now they define my personality.

Kathak is like meditation for me, I feel connected with the universe. Theatre on the other hand is like a self-healing activity. I believe it is a platform wherein people can connect and share complex ideas in a simpler form.”

Madiha reveals that despite getting a lot encouragement for all the activities, making acting as a profession is not supported so much by the society because of the struggle period and the uncertainty associated with it. However, she gives the due credit to her family.

My family has been my backbone all these years. I still remember while I was working in one of the serials at Doordarshan, I used to reach very late. My elder brother would wait for me at the metro station and my parents and Dadi would still be awake, with dinner nicely served on the table. Instead of being irritated by my erratic schedule they just stood by me.”

On being asked about her inspirations, Madiha explains how she adores the retro actresses.

As a child I was in love with Waheeda Rehman and Madhuri Dixit and I used to copy their steps, Rekha ji’s expressions and Nazakat in Umrao Jaan has always inspired me to work more on mine. And for acting I dont have a specific idol, a crying child to a smiling old lady can be my idols, depending on the need of the character.

When asked what he wants to do in the future, she answers quite poetically,

Everything single thing in life has an opportunity cost, I think I couldn’t do justice to my studies all this while, although I try to create a healthy balance between work studies and family. Nonetheless, at times I feel I am not doing enough. However the battle is still on. I want to work towards my dreams and fight the battles of social acceptance for these art forms.
Also, someday I wish to perform in front of Birju Maharaj. I hope this dream comes true, she smiles.

Madiha is someone who believes that any art form can help someone to heal themselves and saves them from being caught in the dark clutches of depression. And the fact that dance and theatre keeps you healthy, physically as well as mentally, add the cherry on top!

We wish Madiha all the best for her future endeavours and we hope that she paves way for those upcoming talents that she has been so dearly guiding.

Love this? Check out more dance shortlists here.
If you or your friends have a talent to showcase on our platform, hit us up here!

Written by Lipi Bag.

Edited by the ATKT.in Editorial Team.