Nahid Siddiqui intially trained under Maharaj Ghulam Hussain Kathak in Lahore Pakistan in the Lucknow school of Kathak and later on went through an intensive training under the great guru of the Lucknow gharana Birju Maharaj in India.
Nahid siddiqui represents the face of kathak in Pakistan and a visionary who has shed a different light and given birth to a very unique application to kathak as a dance form. Nahid siddiqui has been acknowledged for contributing her own style, techniques and expression which is imbued and informed by islamic and sufi aesthetics, where her work has been recognized and critically acclaimed internationally.
Nahid Siddiqui was Nighat Chaodhry’s first teacher who had instilled in her the beginning and foundation of Kathak as a Dance form at the Bharitiya vidya Bhavan in london in 1977, while Nighat was still fully immersed in learning classical western ballet and contemporary dance.
Nahid Siddiqui was the catalyst in Nighat developing such a passion for Kathak that she abandoned ballet and contemporary dance to take up Kathak seriously.
Pandit Durga Lal
Pandit Durga Lal was a renowned Kathak dancer of the Jaipur Gharana in India and a disciple of Sunder Prasad Ji, for his contributions to the field of Kathak form of dance he was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by Government of India. He had also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for the year 1984.
He taught Kathak at the National Institute of Kathak Dance (Kathak Kendra), New Delhi where Nighat Chaodhry was very fortunate to train in the Jaipur school of kathak with him on an awarded scholarship from london in 1987 till his demise in 1990. Nighat Chaodhry is Pandit Durga Lal Ji’s most notable student in Pakistan.
Pali Chandra is an internationally acclaimed Kathak dancer, choreographer, educationist, social activist and the artistic director of Gurukul Dubai. She is trained in classical Kathak by the late Guru Vikram Singh, Pandit Ram Mohan Maharaj, and Smt. Kapila Raj of Lucknow Gharana. As a performing artist of classical and contemporary Kathak, she was recognised for her outstanding performance and was awarded the Lachhu Maharaj Award given to artists who acquire the skill and expertise of Abhinaya – Art of expression. She is a committee member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and a graded member of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Nighat Chaodhry’s prayer was answered when she met Pali Chandra, who has played the most important role in her life at this stage in Nighat’s dance career by furthering and deepened her training in Kathak. Nighat Chaodhry presently is seriously training under Pali Chandra in the London based ISTD syllabus, the imperial society of teachers of dancing which is one of the leading dance examination boards.
Kumudini Lakhia (born 1930) is an Indian Kathak dancer and choreographer based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where she founded Kadamb School of Dance and Music, an institute of Indian dance and music in 1967.
A pioneer in contemporary Kathak dance, she is credited for moving away from the solo form of Kathak starting in the 1960s, by turning it into a group spectacle, and also innovations like taking away traditional stories and adding contemporary storylines into Kathak repertoire.
Nighat Chaodhry did her first intensive kathak Dance workshop with Kumudinia Lakhia in London in 1981 and then again in 1991 and in New York in 2002. Nighat Chaodhry is forever indebted to Kumudini lakhia for opening up the concept of space and innovation in kathak and how to appy it in training and performance.
Maharaj Ghulam Hussain Kathak
Maharaj Ghulam Hussain Kathak was a classical dancer and teacher for the art. He held the distinction of singularly sustaining the tradition of classical dance in Pakistan and producing students like Nahid Siddiqui, Fasih Ur Rehman, Nighat Chaodhry, Amy Minwala and Panna among many others.
Maharaj Ghulam hussain was Nighat Chaodhry’s nana guru as he was her first teacher’s Nahid Siddiqui’s Guru and under the guidance of Nahid Siddiqui she was sent to learn from him to understand the nuances of her culture and Kathak tradition in Pakistan.
Saswati Sen is a leading Indian exponent of Kathak, and the most senior disciple of Pt Birju Maharaj, she stands tall among her contemporaries in the way she has embellished Kathak by integrating the sacredness of a tradition with the creativeness of a contemporary approach. Saswati today is regarded as an artist with immense versatility and talent and one of the best exponents of the famed Lucknow gharana. She mostly teaches and performs with her Guru Birju Maharaj in his institute, Kalashram in Jor Bagh, New Delhi.
Nighat Chaodhry trained intensively with Saswati Sen at the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan summer school workshop in London and performed at the student’s presentation showcasing Saswati Sen’s training and choreography.