Purushottam Dadheech
Born17 July 1939
Occupation(s)Kathak Scholar, Dancer, Choreographer, Director - SSCARK, Ex-Professor Bhatkhande University, Ex-Dean Khairagarh University
Founder Natwari Kathak Nritya Academy, Indore
Years active1954 - present

Puru Dadheech (Purushottam Dadheech, 17 July 1939) is a Kathak dancer. He is a choreographer and educator of Indian classical dance, and is known for his pioneering work[citation needed] in the field of Kathak. At the oldest Kathak department which was formed in 1956 at Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya Public University located in Khairagarh, Puru Dadheech instated the first Kathak syllabus in 1961.[1] He is the holder of the first Doctorate in Kathak Classical Dance and emphasizes the relevance of Shastras (Indian Ancient Dance treatises like Natyashastra and Nandikeshvara's Abhinaya Darpana) in the Kathak repertoire.[2] He was awarded Padma Shri, the 4th highest civilian award of India[3] He is currently[when?] serving as the Director of the world's first dedicated Kathak research Centre at the Sri Sri University, Cuttack called Sri Sri Centre for Advanced Research in Kathak.[4]


Puru Dadheech studied under Guru-Shishya Parampara under Gurus Pt. Durga Prasad, Pt. Sunder Prasad as well as Pt. Narayan Prasad.[5][6]

Dadheech is the first[citation needed] Doctorate (D.Mus.) in Kathak in the world. Research dissertation Kathak Nritya ka Udbhav aur Vikas by Prayag Sangeet Samiti.[7]

He is the first-ever[citation needed] dancer to receive the Mahamahopadhyay[citation needed] (Hon. D.Lit.) from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal.[8] Apart from the first[citation needed] Sangeetacharya (D.Mus.) in Kathak, he also has a PhD in Sanskrit Dramatics[8] from Vikram University, Ujjain. His PHD was on the topic Sanskrit Prayog Vigyan Evam Kalidasiya Rupak which has been published as a book.

He has also received the Tagore National Fellowship by the Ministry of Culture.[9]

Personal life

Puru Dadheech was born to a traditional Pauranik brahmin family of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. He is married to kathak guru and researcher Dr. Vibha Dadheech. He has 2 sons and a daughter.


Dadheech had served as Professor and Head of the Dance Department at Bhatkhande University, Lucknow, and as Dean, Faculty of Arts, at Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwa Vidyalaya, Khairagarh, teaching and guiding several research scholars for their doctoral thesis.[10]

Dadheech was close to Senior Kathak exponent and Guru Pt. Mohanrao Kallianpurkar and succeeded him at Bhatkhande Music Institute Deemed University.[11]

Dadheech has been an editor for Swarn Jayanti Smarika Golden Jubilee Magazine of Bhatkhande Hindustani Sangeet Mahavidyala.[12]

He participated in many seminars and delivered talks on subjects such as "Kalidasa and Natya Sashtra" at Birla Academy, Kolkata.[13]

Puru Dadheech has developed the first-ever Kathak syllabus books which are instated in the Kathak department of various universities.[14]

He has been on various editorial committees such as National Conference- "Innovation in Music And Dance"(23-24, Jan 2015) organized at Dept. Music And Dance, Govt. Maharani Laxmibai Girls P.G. college, Indore.[15]

Dadheech has been a mentor and guide to several students doing Masters and Doctorate degrees in Kathak since 1961.[16]



Dr. Dadheech has written many scholarly books which are also assigned as syllabus textbooks at Kathak departments of Universities. Some titles are:

Rare Compositions

Dr. Puru Dadheech is the only Kathak artist in India[citation needed] to have specially written and composed the Naayak Bheda – different types of heroes as well as conducting a workshop on rare compositions like 'Dashavatar' and 'Dhrupad' in 'Bhrama taal' (28 beats).[19]

Re-instating Dhrupad in Kathak

Dadheech is India's first Kathak dancer[citation needed] to bring back Dhrupad to the formal Kathak stage and this composition in 28 matra. Shankar Pralayankar, his Dhrupad composition, has the unique status of regularly being sung in concerts by 'Dhrupad' maestros the Gundecha Brothers.[19]

For the first time[citation needed] in 1981, Dr. Dadheech choreographed and danced the ancient Nritya style of Dhrupad that he performed in Mathura. He has researched and written an article titled Dhrupad Nartan Ki Parampara.[8]

In 2013 ITC Sangeet Research Academy has conducted Dhrupad Seminar in association with National Centre for the Performing Arts (India) (NCPA, Mumbai) where Dr. Puru Dadheech participated as speaker to discuss Origin of Dhrupad (Predecessors of Dhrupad) evolving into different Banis and PROPAGATION OF DHRUPAD - During the reign of Mansingh Tomar and others.[20] Dr. Puru Dadheech, discussed the origin of Dhrupad at length and established that Dhrupads are older than the times of Raja Mansingh Tomar.[21]

80th birthday celebrations

Dadheech's 80th birthday celebrations on 17 July 2019 started with a National Seminar on the topic ‘Contributions of Dr Puru Dadheech in the field of Dance, Literature and Shastras at Indore city. The chairperson for this seminar was Padma Shri Shovana Narayan. The Gundecha Brothers paid a tribute by singing three Dhrupad written by Puru Dadheech.


  1. ^ "Department of Kathak Dance | Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya". www.iksv.ac.in.
  2. ^ Kumar, Bhanu (21 March 2019). "Turning the spotlight on folk arts". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  3. ^ "Padmashree Award : इंदौर के डॉ. पुरुषोत्तम दाधीच को उम्र के 81 वर्ष में मिली पद्मश्री सफल हुई 71 साल की कथक साधना". 26 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Sri Sri Centre for Advanced Research in Kathak (SSCARK)". sri sri university. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Pandit Ram Sahai Sangit Vidyalaya» Acknowledgments".
  6. ^ Kathak Syllabi. Bindu Prakashan. 1997. ISBN 978-81-900056-7-8.
  7. ^ Kothari, Sunil (1989). Kathak, Indian Classical Dance Art. ISBN 9788170172239.
  8. ^ a b c "Dr. Dadheech's workshop on rare compositions in Kathak". 19 October 2018.
  9. ^ "NaiDunia Epaper: Daily MP Newspaper and Chhattisgarh News Paper Online".
  10. ^ a b Sinha, Manjari (26 July 2019). "Celebrating a Guru". The Statesman.
  11. ^ "The Sunil Kothari Column - Centenary celebrations of Kathak guru Mohanrao Kallianpurkar (1913-2013) - Dr. Sunil Kothari". www.narthaki.com.
  12. ^ Katz, Max (7 November 2017). Lineage of Loss: Counternarratives of North Indian Music. ISBN 9780819577603.
  13. ^ "Regaling with traditional beauty". The Statesman. 24 March 2018.
  14. ^ http://www.hpuniv.ac.in/upload/syllabus/5b86406dceeadPerformingArts.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  15. ^ "Innovation In Music and Dance - Conference Performing Art". granthaalayah.com.
  16. ^ "Sangeet Galaxy". www.sangeetgalaxy.co.in.
  17. ^ https://padmaawards.gov.in/PDFS/2020AwardeesList.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  18. ^ Nritya Nibandh [Dance Essays] (in Hindi). Indore: Bindu Prakashan. 2009. ISBN 978-81-901057-6-7.
  19. ^ a b "Sunil performs 'the Naayak' in Kathak". Archived from the original on 11 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  20. ^ https://www.itcsra.org/pdf/sra2013programme_1.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  21. ^ "Winds of change". www.sruti.com.