Navina Jafa – Sanatan Sangeet Sanskriti Award 2024 for Indian Classical Dance

Navina Jafa, a well-known Kathak dancer, Fulbright scholar, and cultural heritage technocrat, was awarded the 2024 Sanatan Sangeet Sanskriti Award for contributing to Indian classical dance. She gave a captivating performance at the Festival Words in the Garden, organized by the Sanatan Sangeet Sanskriti, at the India International Centre in New Delhi. Navina titled her performance “Asha-Prakriti” (Hope and Nature) as part of her mission to use Kathak dance and Indian poetry to raise awareness about environmental and climate change by incorporating images and symbols of nature and its rhythms into her performances. During her performance, Navina dramatized the Maithli poetry of Vidyapati, which tells the story of a young girl and Kamadev, the Hindu god of love and desire, associated with spring and the natural environment.

With her deep knowledge of Indian literature and her expertise in Abhinaya, Navina brought into another dance composition the poetry of Jigar Muradabadi and Sacchal Sarmast to life in an intense Sufi composition titled “Hairan Hun”. Navina developed a creative interpretation of Sufi poetry through her skilful use of storytelling and Kathak. The audience was thrilled and fully engaged. Her accompanists were the renowned percussionist Fateh Singh Gangani, Zoheb and Shuheb Hasan ( vocal), Madhav Kalra Sarod, and Parinita Khanna recitation.

Navina Jafa was awarded the award by renowned Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi, former Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi, and India’s leading designer, scenographer, and art curator, Rajeev Sethi.

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