Shama Bhate

Shama Guru Shama Bhate’s work spans over 35 years as a performer, teacher, choreographer, artistic director, and thinker. Her personal idiom, evolved over the years, is an amazing blend of virtuosity (tayyari) and sensitive expressions (abhinaya), revealing the high degree of classicism.

Guru Shama Bhate is the Director of a unique institute – Nadroop – based in Pune. Nadroop has completed its fruitful existence of twenty years and has brought out many out-of-the-box projects for its silver jubilee celebration like,

‘Swa-Abhivyakti’, where leading Kathak dancers expressed and shared their own perceptions.
Roop-Bandh Festival – Young, proficient dancers from different dance styles presented their work.
Sansmaran- An overview of Guru Pandit Mohanraoji Kallianpurkar’s contribution to the Kathak world. Mohanraoji’s disciples, scholars and family members participated to pay tribute to this Legendary Kathak Maestro.

Taleem - Guru Shama Bhate herself is a principle disciple of Guru Smt. Rohini Bhate, the doyen of Kathak. She was also blessed with special insights from Kathak Samrat Pt. Birju Maharaj and Pt. Mohan Rao Kallianpurkar.. She has created her own idiom of Kathak dance, blending it with special inputs in ‘Taal’ and ‘Laya’, from
Pt. Suresh Talwalkar.

As a Guru - Over the years, Guru Shama Bhate has trained (from the very basic to the advanced stages) numerous professional Kathak Dancers who are performing and teaching independently both in India and abroad. She is functioning as a Guru in many universities – Lalit Kala Kendra – Pune, Nalanda College – Mumbai University, Bharat College – Nagpur University, Bharati Vidyapeeth – Pune. Approximately thirty of her students have acquired a post-graduate degree from various universities under her guidance. It is indeed very rewarding to mention that, as many as 12 students have been awarded the HRDC National scholarship for the seniors, and also CCERT scholarship for youngsters.

Positions Held - Guru Shama Bhate has held many important positions and has contributed to those institutes by her original point of view. To mention a few:

Member of the Advisory Board of Goa Kala Academy, Goa (2006 to 2010)
Member of the Advisory Board of Kathak Kendra, Delhi.
Guide for Ph.D. students of University of Pune, Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, and A.B.G.M.V Mandal.
Member of Advisory board of Flame School of Liberal Arts, Pune.
Member of Board and Visiting Professor- Vishwashanti Gurukul – Sangeet Academy – MIT.
Visiting Professor at Kathak Department, Nalanda Dance Research Centre, Mumbai University; Bharat College, Mumbai; Performing Art School, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune; Department of Performing Arts, University of Pune.

As a Performer - Guru Shama Bhate has performed at many prestigious festivals at Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Goa, Bangalore, Nasik, Lucknow, Jaipur et al. Her graceful performances have acquired a special place in the hearts of music and dance lovers.
Guru Shama Bhate has travelled extensively to the USA, Canada, Europe, Turkey, Malaysia, and Singapore. She is invited to perform solo as well as in group compositions.

Awards & Accolades

Received the prestigious ‘Maharashtra Rajya Puraskar – 2011’ conferred by the Maharashtra State Government.
Received the ‘Sri Durga Mata Shakti Puraskar’ in 2011 from Paramhans Swachandananda Seva Pratishthan.
Received ‘Jyestha Guru Sanmaan’ by Madhurita Sarang School.
Received the ‘Kala Darpan Puraskar’ in 2012.
Received the ‘Kala Samvardhan Puraskar’ by Krishna Mulgur Smriti Pratishthan, 2012.
Received the ‘Kala Gaurav Puraskar’ by Kalanidhi, 2013.

Choreographic Work

Guru Shama Bhate’s choreographic work is extensive. She has experimented in both; traditional as well as contemporary format. She has created a number of traditional and classical compositions -Taals, Taranas, Thumris etc with her own perspective. For instance, Trishul (a blend of Taal cycles of 9, 10 and 11 beats); Samvaad (domuhi composition), Layasopan (traditional Kathak sequence presented through Panch Jatis). She chose to work with different art media like Paintings from the famous painter S. H. Raza, or Poetic work of German poet Goethe or French poet Baudlaire. She has worked with different composers of World music and Jazz music. She innovatively combined the stage space and the screen space by using excerpts from the Oscar wining French documentary ‘Le Monde Du Silence’.
Few of her choreographic creations:

Stri Man Ki Anchuyi Gehraiya

A production honouring the compassion of womanhood.

Echoes of inner voice

An attempt to explore the deepest recesses of the human mind.

Chaturang Ki Chaupal

An innovation production, steeped into the richness of tradition.

Kathak Infinite

A wide spectrum of sixty proficient dancers, blending classicism and grandeur.

Nirakar Sakar

Tribute to Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and his immortal music. An attempt to touch the intangible and abstract musical spirit in a tangible manner through a visible expression!

Confluence…Peed Parayi Jaane Re

Integration of spontaneity and invigorating sounds of Jazz, with serene flowing lines of Kathak. Based on life story of Kasturba Gandhi -an extraordinary woman of great integrity, an epitome of courage, wisdom and humanity.

Yatra Naryastu Pujyante

The story of increasing oppression of Indian womanhood through ages. A depiction of the sharp contrast, the progress of mankind and corresponding pitfall of the plight of the woman.

Nishabda Bheda

Exploring Silence in the deep ocean…Exploring Marine vegetation, Marine space, Marine life etc.

Naad Bindu

Kathak dance and the paintings of S. H. Raza share two concepts which were the fundamental inspiration of this choreography.

Rhythm Collage

A collage of spaces, rhythmic compositions, concepts and mainly music aesthetics of the West and the East.

Baudelaire’s Poems

A trilingual work. The choreography tries to get into the mind, psyche and persona of this great poet.

Krishna Gaan

This choreography deals with the ‘Saundarya’ and ‘Shringar’ aspects of Krishna`s life. The whole choreography is an ‘Anandotsava’.

Arghya – Parinati

An attempt to meet up with a challenge of retaining the core values of tradition, while sticking to the classicism and yet presenting that with modern sensitivity.


Remembering a Musical Genius named Pt. Dinkarji Kaikini through a representation of the rare combination of lilt and lyricism in the verses, a musicality in his rhythm renditions and the fragrant earthiness of Lucknavi.

Work in World Music

Guru Shama Bhate has choreographed to various Jazz compositions like ‘Rhythm Fields’ and ‘Treading the Unknown’. She has also worked with Jazz Youth Orchestra and choreographed “River Dance” for Jazz dancers. Her extensive work in this field also encompasses the workshops conducted for dance students, dancers as well as Jazz musicians. She has also performed solo, titled as ‘Glimpse’ in the ensemble led by world renowned musician, Trilok Gurtu. Her recent creative work includes a collaboration with
the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, under the conduction of Chen Zimbalista.

Dynamic Projects

Guru Shama Bhate has initiated different projects with the view of widening the sensitivities and horizons of her students and also students of dance in Pune.

Madame Menaka Choreography Movement

A festival of proverb bases thought-provoking choreographies, in association with
Maharashtra Cultural Centre, Pune. Each choreography is followed by a panel discussion,
by eminent art connoisseurs.

Rohini Bhate Dialogues

A homage to the holistic persona of Late Guru Pandita Rohiniji Bhate, through a lecture-
series by art intellectuals, in association with Maharashtra Cultural Centre, Pune and Raza
Foundation, Delhi.


A reflection of Kathak sensitivity, in Mayurbhanj Chhau vibrancy.

‘In Tandem’

A project on the mélange of Kathak and Bharatanatyam with renowned Guru Deepak Mujumdar.


Dance Therapy Project for God’s Children.

Project for Rural children

Awareness programme

Dance Appreciation Course

Formulated and executed a course for professionals and foreigners to sensitize them to classical dance.

Orchid School

Use of different methodology for sensitization of school children to classical dance.

Mathematics & Kathak

Exploration of the mathematical and geometric aspect of Kathak for school children to study math.


To promote solo forms of classical dance.


Worked with George Brooks – renowned Jazz musician – to create a new work, also to understand the sensitivity of each other’s music.

Akhand Ghungroo Naad

Tribute to Guru Rohini Bhate, dancers and musicians continuously play for Guru Smt. Rohini Bhate’s memory.

Quest for New Perspectives

The innovative work is viewed, discussed and understood from the creator’s point of view, to give a stimulus to the dancers and dance students of Pune.

Creating Awareness

An initiative with the collaboration of MHC, Pune. Many important artists explain their dance styles, their tradition, and their expression to the dancers and dance students of Pune.

Articles | Workshops | Seminars

Guru Shama Bhate has been conducting regular workshops in centres like Nasik, Indore and Mumbai for advance training. She regularly participates in various seminars. She also regularly writes articles on different subjects pertaining to music and dance.