LOK CHHANDA is a socio – cultural organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the traditional dance forms of India.
The offshoot of a missionary zeal of a few committed and energetic young boys and girls, Lok Chhanda seeks to rediscover and rejuvenate the latent chhanda, in the common man. To achieve this objective, we delved into the roots of our cultural heritage - the simple, unsophisticated self, of the innocent rustic folk, still inhabiting the unadulterated hinterlands of rural India.
In the rhythmic undulations of their bodies, weaving a lyrical tapestry of forms, in the deep azure skies of the tropical sun, we find the idiom and connotations of a spirit rejoicing in gay abandon. The preservation and presentation of these raw, rustic and virile folk forms, in their pristine idiom, is the cornerstone of Lok Chhanda's raison d'ętre.
Simultaneously, Lok Chhanda does not hesitate to experiment and evolve. A part of its energy is devoted to experiment, innovate and juxtapose folk forms with other forms - drawing inspiration from the former without distorting their individual characteristics, to lend the final presentation a classical touch. These experiments and innovations have yielded rich dividends, in the form of novel choreographies and other interactive collaborations, which were well received by the connoisseurs and critics alike - both in India and abroad.
LOK CHHANDA has come a long way, since its inception 20 years ago. It has made significant contributions to the propagation of the traditional elements in our culture and has presented innumerable such productions to popular and critical acclaim, wherever it performed -India, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Turkey, Syria, South Africa, Reunion, Cyprus, Germany, Russia., England and Scotland.
Lok Chhanda has also participated in several of the major dance festivals of India, viz.: Konark Dance Festival, (Orissa), Rajgir Mahotsav (Bihar), Vaishali Festival (Bihar), Maihar Festival (Madhya Pradesh), Khajuraho Folk Dance Festival (Madhya Pradesh), Nimad Festival (Madhya Pradesh), Lok Rang (Rajasthan), Deep Mahotsav (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Republic Day Folk Dance Festival. LOK CHHANDA performed in Mauritius, in 2000, during the Prime Minister's state visit to Mauritius.
Lok Chhanda is based in Delhi and Midnapur (W.B.). The primary unit, including it's professional repertory, operates out off - "LOKOGRAM" cultural complex at Munshipatna
(3 km. from Midnapur town), Dist. Pashchim Medinipur, West Bengal
Maitreyee's childhood fascination for the arts, specially the folk forms of music and dance, took her to the deep interiors of rural Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in search of her objective - the preservation, promotion and propagation of the folk culture of rural India.
For a better understanding of the folk form, she found it necessary to learn a classical form of dance. After her initial training in Kathak, she joined Kathak Kendra in Delhi. She is also a graduate of Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, majoring in Manipuri Dance (for which she was awarded a gold medal).
Maitreyee has performed widely all over India and abroad. She has helped co-ordinate and choreograph numerous events for the ICCR, Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Department of Culture, like - Lok Tarang; Octave; U.N. – 60; SAARC Summit; Rajasthan Day; Pravasi Bharatiya Divas; Regent Street Festival-London; Days of Delhi-Moscow and India@60-New York. She has also choreographed several productions for private institutions and organizations.
Awarded the Charles Wallace Fellowship in 2003, she visited England and Scotland for dance workshops, choreographic collaborations and performances. She is the Director of Lok Chhanda Cultural Unit, an institution dedicated to the
rapidly depleting folklore of India.