She’s called the goddess of Abhinay (expression) by her admirers. Renowned for her work on Ghalib’s ghazals and Krishna’s Raas Leela, Uma Sharma is one of India’s best known exponents of Kathak, the Indian classical dance form from the northern part of India. Kathak regularly features in the Bollywood movies.

“I am the best example of Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb,” says Uma Sharma who is in conversation with Pervaiz Alam. She performs abhinay on the poetry of Ghalib, Harivansh Rai Bachan and Surdas during the course of the interview.

Once, famous novelist and columnist Khushwant Singh wrote about her: “There’s language in her eye, her cheek, her lips, her foot speaks, her wanton spirits look out at every joint and motive of her body, movement of arms evokes the contours of miniature painting, and with her soft, rhythmic foot work, she writes love poems on the stage”.

Awarded Padma Bhushan in 2001, one of the highest awards announced by the govt of India, Uma Sharma has also been given awards by Sangeet Natak Academy and Sahitya Kala Parishad.

Born in Delhi in 1942, Uma Sharma received her dance training from Pandit Sunder Prasad of the Jaipur gharana and Shambhu Maharaj of the Lucknow gharana. She runs her own dance academy ‘Dr. Uma Sharma School Of Dance & Music’ in New Delhi. She is a graduate of the Lady Shriram College.

Uma Sharma is the moving force behind prestigious “Swami Haridas Tansen Sangeet Nritya Samaroh” which is an annual event in New Delhi with eminent musicians & dancers.

Since 1970s, Uma Sharma has been known for performing abhinay on the works of Ghalib, Kaifi Azmi, Neeraj, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Tagore, Meera, Tulsidas, Surdas and Kalidas.

Her dance creation ‘Stree’ (Woman) has been greatly admired for its powerful thematic content and artistic presentation.

Recently, she produced and directed ‘Indra-Sabha’ based on Nawab Wajid Ali Shah’s work.

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