ISHA PHADKE – PROFILE
Isha has been learning Kathak from world renowned danseuse Guru Shambhavi Dandekar for over 20 years. She has secured the first rank across India for the “Nritya Visharad” and “Nritya Alankar” degrees from ‘Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya’ and has thus been rightly awarded with the ‘Pandit Ranganath Bendre’ award for extraordinary excellence. Apart from being a Master in Business Administration (MBA), she has completed her second Masters degree in Dance from ‘Bharati Vidyapeeth University’ under the able guidance of one of the most
distinguished artists and her senior Guru, Pandita Maneesha Sathe. She is furthermore privileged to be able to learn the advanced aesthetics and intricacies of Indian Rhythm (Laya-Taal) under Padmashree Taalyogi Pt. Suresh Talwalkar. She has been a regular performer in his productions “Taalyatra” & “Mrudang Sankeertan”.
Isha has been a part of her Guru’s dance troupe from a very young age. She has had the fine opportunity to perform all across India and abroad, as a part of Shambhavi ji’s trademark choreographic productions like Horizons, Kathakotsava, Gaur Baran Radhika. Isha was blessed to be able to perform with her Guru in Padmavibhushan Pt. Jasraj ji’s unique show “Aaj Toh Anand Hi Anand” based on the traditional Haveli Sangeet. She has been extremely
fortunate to get to learn from the great legendary Kathak maestro, Padmavibhushan Pt. Birju Maharaj ji through various workshops and has also got a chance to perform with him at “Nehru Center – Mumbai”, “International Film Festival, Goa”, “Shaniwarwada Dance Festival, Pune”, etc. She has had the privilege to learn from and interact closely with fine artists and great masters like Pt. Rajendra Gangani, Ustad Taufiq Qureshi, Shama Bhate, et al. through several workshops and seminars.
- Pune Heritage Festival – Pune, India
- Ekamra Nritya Mahotsav – Orissa, India
- Bharat Natya Mandir’s 125th Anniversary Celebrations – Pune, India
- Madhurita Sarang Festival – Pune, India (In the presence of Pt. Rajendra Gangani)
- Sanskar Bharati’s Nritya Sadhana – Pune, India
- Anunaad Music Dance Academy’s Lecture-Demonstration series – Ahmednagar, India
- Nirvikalpa’s Lecture-Demonstration series – Pune, India
- Tabla and Beyond Music Institutes’s Gurupournima Concert – Pune, India
- Rotary International’s Ranaraagini Yashwant Puraskar Sohola – Pune, India
- Baithak series by Shambhavi’s International School of Kathak – CA, USA
Awards and Recognition
- Kalashram Kathak Contest, Mumbai (India) – At the hands of Pt. Birju Maharaj ji
- Sahitya Sangeet Kala Mohotsav
- Madhukauns, Pune (India)
- Ashtavinayak Classical Dance Award
- Pt. V. D. Paluskar Award, Mumbai (India)
- Pandit Ranganath BendreAward for extraordinary excellence.
Isha has also been a part of several National Television shows on reputed channels like Sony, Saam Marathi, Alpha Marathi, Doordarshan etc.
Isha’s exceptional choreography & stand-out performance in the Kathak section of a critically acclaimed Dance-Drama titled “Urmila – The Forgotten Wife” gained her wide recognition amongst the who’s who of Indian Classical Dance connoisseurs. This experimental Dance – Drama portrayed the epic story through a variety of classical dance styles like Kathak, Odissi & Bharatnatyam.
Apart from this, Isha has successfully choreographed and presented her dance works through ‘Kathakotsava’ (SISK’s Annual Concert), ‘Payal ki Jhankaar’ – An Indian Fusion music album by Mrs. Veena Watve, ‘Raja Paranjape Mahotsav’, ‘Sanskar Bharati’, Rotary International events and other such innumerable corporate extravaganzas.
In her bid to keep this art form alive and to explore life through dance, Isha has established her own dance school “Vrundavan” in Pune (India), where she teaches Kathak to kids, youngsters & elders. Simultaneously, she has also been teaching at “Shambhavi’s International School of Kathak” for the past 9 years.
In 2012, the entrepreneur in her encouraged her to go to Boston (USA) to set up a dance school with a view to spread this art in its authentic way, under the guidance of her Guru. Apart from Boston, Isha has been to Houston, Atlanta, Indiana, California, etc. to teach and perform.
Isha has also been appointed as the official examiner for all certifications conducted by the prestigious ‘Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya’ (India).
To add another feather to her hat, Isha recently debuted in a Marathi film, titled “Ti Saddhya Kay Karte”, directed by Satish Rajwade.
Additionally, she is also trained in other dance styles like Salsa, Latin American, Bollywood, etc. by Rocky Poonawala. She has performed with him across India and Singapore, and won various accolades in these styles too.