Meet South African Indian classical dancer, Shrimati Shika Mohanlall-Harrypaul a Kathak dance guru based in Johannesburg.
DANCE: Shika began her studies in Kathak dance at the Institute of Classical Music & Dance, Kala Darshan in Durban in 1999.
It was under the strict guidance of noted Indian classical dance guru Shri Manesh Maharaj that she was groomed for the divine art form. Maharaj’s dance style teaching is known to be intense and deeply spiritual as he shared the unique style blending Jaipur, Lucknow and Benares gharanas with Shika.
With her dedication to imbibing all she could from her guru, Mohanall went on to successfully graduate in 2005. Shika went on to become a household name after a series of thrilling performances at conferences and cultural events in South Africa. Taking her passion for Kathak further, she authored a book in 2006 titled ‘Kathak Darpan – A Reflection Of Kathak‘. The book continues to aspire future Indian classical dancers as well as to be reference book for all students practicing the art form.
Her passion for stage continued as she essayed roles in the highly acclaimed dance productions like Utsav (2000), Dance Of The Gods (2002), Sur Singaar (2003), Krishnaleela (2004), Dancing Ragas (2005), Geet Milan (2006).
Watch SABC Mela insert feat. Shika Mohanlall-Harrypaul
Taking Kathak to Gauteng
Shika remained a senior dancer at the Kala Darshan Institute for 9 years until she relocated to Johannesburg in June 2007.
With her move to Johannesburg from Durban, Mohanlall saw the need for Kathak to be taught in the only way she knew how, its purest form. This was the beginning of a dance adventure as she established Darpan Dance Studios in 2009. She admits the Kathak dance school would never have been possible without the support from her husband, Ashwin Harrypaul and the Randburg Hindu Cultural Society. In 2011, the dance school hosted its maiden production, Kathak Ki Dhun to a sold-out performance.
In 2012 the birth Shika’s son, Aaradh did not stop her passion of dance as she expanded the reach of the dance school across across Gauteng. The dance school will be hosting their first dance concert for 2020 this February 16th click here for more details