Munna Shukla



Shri Munna Lal Shukla was born in 1943 in Lucknow into a family of traditional Kathak artists. He was initiated in the dance by his father Sunderlal Shukla and later studied under Pandit Birju Maharaj. Alongside Kathak dance, he acquired proficiency in Tabla and vocal music. A highly experienced Kathak teacher and dancer, Shri Munna Lal Shukla is also known as a Kathak choreographer of note. His own art as a dancer is not only an admirable blend of meticulous anga-bhava and intricate footwork, but also a deft balancing of rhythmic numbers with expressional ones which are by no means confined to shringara rasa. From 1968 to 1975, he taught the dance at Kala Chhaya in Pune and from 1976 to 2005 at Kathak Kendra in Delhi. At present, he is a senior guru at Bharatiya Kala Kendra in Delhi. At Pune, he choreographed duet and group compositions such as Talamala , Rajput Ramani, Shahi Mehfil, Kathak ki Kahani, and Holi besides four full-length dramas: Kaliya- daman, Makhanleela, Bansilila, and Shyam Bansuriya. Other creative work done by him comprises Shan-e-Mughal, a full-length dance drama for Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra; Tratak, Kathak Prasang, Anvesha, Krauncha-vadh, Chaturanga , Anga-mukti, Raganvita, Govardhan, and Kathakayan for Kathak Kendra. For the National School of Drama in Delhi, he has created the opera Indra Sabha (1996) and directed the play Azeezunnisa (1998). He has performed and taught Kathak in Japan and several countries in Europe and Africa. He has won many honours for his work including the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1988), the Sarangadev Award of Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai (1989), and the Samman awarded by the capital’s Sahitya Kala Parishad (2003). Shri Munna Lal Shukla receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribu- tion to Kathak dance.