Dr. Uma Sharma is renowned classical dancer who has been awarded Padma Bhushan for her unique contribution to the cultural tradition of this country. She has revolutionised the repertoire of the classical form of her chosen field of dance "Kathak" by enriching it with literary and intellectual substance by drawing upon and interpreting the works of great poets of our country from ancient to modern time. In spearheading the transformation of this art form, Uma Sharma has been at the centre stage of events in the country. Her themes have etched out the color of concern about issues that matter.
Dr. Uma Sharma runs her own School of Music and Dance academy BHARTIYA SANGEET SADAN (UMA SHARMA SCHOOL OF DANCE AND MUSIC) which has been in existence since 1976 and has been training a whole new generation of young dancers including foreigners from West Asia, Europe and America.
Dr. Uma Sharma is the moving force behind prestigious “Swami Haridas Tansen Sangeet Nritya Samaroh” which is an annual event on the art calendar of capital with eminent musicians & dancers. And to keep the tradition alive Dr. Uma creates Maharaas Leela during Sharad Purnima at Laxmi Narayan Temple every year which is dedicated to Late Smt. Kamla Devi Chattopadhyay and Late Raasdhari Pt. Ladli Saran Sharma (Brindavan).
ART OF Dr. UMA SHARMA
Dr. Uma Sharma’ contribution to Kathak – in fact to the Indian dance has been marked by her innovative programme and search for the roots of the dance form. Dr. Uma has achieved for Kathak its old glory and restored to it the lost frontiers of poetry and the tradition of abhinaya. Dr. Uma herself sings the compositions for expressional numbers, which enables her to create a matching fluidity of movement.
HONOURS & AWARDS
Dr. Uma Sharma has received prestigious National Awards, such as the Padma Bhushan [in 2001], Padma Shree [in 1973], the Sangeet Natak Academy Award and the Delhi Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, in recognition of her contribution to the fine art and has recently received the Doctorate from Utkal University, Orissa in January, 2012 for her life time contribution to the field of Indian Classical Dance.
In 1973 Dr. Uma introduced famous Sanskrit, Hindi and Urdu poets Ghalib, Kaifi Azmi, “Neeraj”, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Tagore, Meera, Tulsidas, Surdas, Kalidas etc.
For the first time Dr. Uma brought the idea of Kathak and Spanish Flamingo duet in 1973 and Brindavan Raas in relation with Kathak.
Dr. Uma has been trained by greatest gurus of the Kathak tradition such as Shambhu Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana, and Sunder Prasad Ji of Jaipur Gharana. Dr. Uma in turn has sought to evolve a creative fusion of the two with success.
STREE (Dance – Drama)
Her dance creation ‘Stree’ (Woman), has been greatly admired for its powerful thematic content and artistic presentation. As a ‘one-woman’ exposition ‘Stree’ gave Kathak a new dimension for its highly emotive thrust in depicting the position of Woman down the centuries and her search for an independent identity.
CREATION OF GHALIB MUSEUM
Dr. Uma also worked for the creation of Ghalib Museum at Meer Qasim Jan Gali, Ballimaran, Delhi and each year she celebrates Ghalib’s Birthday with Scholars, Poets and eminent citizens participating in the event.
Dr. Uma has performed all over the country and participated in many important national and international festivals through Ministry of Culture and ICCR.
She has also conceptualised, choreographed and produced three teleserials based on the poetry of noted Poets (both in Urdu and Hindi), viz. “NAINA”, KALIDASAS’s “MEGHDOOT” (Poorva Megh) and “SHREE RADHA” and Indra Sabha (written by Amanat Ali, 1854) in Kathak & Nautanki style for the Delhi Doordarshan and film on Ghalib.
Some Press Comments
"There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip Nay, her foot speaks, her wanton spirits look out at every joint and motive of her body, Her body attitudes and movement of arms evoke the contours of miniature painting, and with her soft, rhythmic foot work, she writes love poems on the stage".
By Eminent Writer/Journalist Khushwant Singh
The Hindustan Times
Uma Sharma when in mood she regales audience with her on the spot upaj ang and improvisations from her amazing memory bank, quoting poems she has internalized over the years. Uma Sings, Dances ecstatically and excellent teacher of Kathak.
By Dr. Sunil Kothari.
The Times Of India
"Uma's moving Abhinaya to Sikh Guru's Poems"
Well, the miracle did happen and Uma Sharma gave one of her most inspired performances to date, evoking and imaging a Krishna who seemed to have as many faces and forms as there were Rasiks in the hall.
Shanta Sarabjeet Singh
The Hindustan Times
"New vistas for Kathak"
It is in her presentation of pure bhav that Uma Sharma has achieved a tour de force. She held the audience enthralled with facial improvisations and gestures from the stage.
The Times of India