Jyothi D Tommaar
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, GANGAUR GHOOMAR DANCE ACADEMY
A trained Katthak dancer Jyothi D Tommaar was introduced to dance by her eldest sister at a tender age of four. Her parents gave her all the freedom and encouraged her to do what she loved. She has been a regular compere on Mumbai Doordarshan since 1985 and now acts in TV serials. M.A. in Hindi and fashion designer by profession, she chose to follow her heart in dancing.
In year 1987 she was introduced to professional dancing world by Vasundhara Mehta and she joined Gujarati folk dance group Varnam. Later, she got selected for the Gujarati musical play “Eva Mumbai Ma Chal Jaiye” as the lead lady and sang live. It is the first Indian play to be performed on Broadway Street, New York, USA. While she was doing this play, Director Kundan Shah saw her and selected her to play character “Sharon” in his movie “Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa”.
In year 1988 her sister Nandini introduced her to Padmashree Late H.H. Rajmata Sahiba of Santrampur and she started learning the authentic dance form, “Ghoomar”. In year 1990, under her Guru Rajmatasa’s guidance she conducted the First Ghoomar workshop in Kolkata. While performing with the academy and teaching several students in workshops held India and Abroad, She even wrote Script and dialogues, Designed Sets and Lights for the Dance Ballets staged by the academy and assisted Rajmata sa in Direction, Choreography, Costumes and Jewelry for ballets, Koyaldi, Maa Karani, Suraj tharo mukh dekhyan sukh paaun, Meera and Ganga, which were performed by workshop students and academy members.
Keeping her Guru’s promise made back in 2003 to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, she trained Deepika Padukone in Ghoomar for film Padmaavat and choreographed the song “Ghoomar” with Kruti Mahesh.
Gangaur Ghoomar Dance Academy is Govt approved and certified, it’s artists perform for festivals of India held globally. It has been 30 years now, since Jyothi D Tommaar is with the academy, dancing and teaching.The academy pioneered the dance Ghoomar, the dance form which belongs to the Princesses and Queens of Rajasthan. Rajmata Sa’s vision and dream was to teach authentic Ghoomar to every possible person. As Assistant Director of the academy Jyothi, along with Dr Pratiba Naitthani and Maharani Mandakini Kumari, is now taking Rajmata Sa’s mission ahead and conducts workshops and performances in India and abroad taking the vision of Rajmata sa Global.
Maharani Mandakini Kumari
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, GANGAUR GHOOMAR DANCE ACADEMY
Her Highness Maharani Mandakini Kumari is the daughter in law of Late Her Highness Rajmata Saheba Goverdan Kumarri of Santrampur, Gujarat and endeavors to carry forward the legacy of this regal dance form. .
She is a keen homemaker, having restored the Shri Joraver Vilas in Santrampur which is now run as a boutique homestay. She is now working on restoring and preserving other heritage palaces belonging to the family, as well as heritage buildings and temples in and around Santrampur.
Maharani Saheba is keen to carry on the legacy of this graceful dance form, passed on by Rajmata Saheba to the next generation. She believes that ‘Ghoomar’ is not merely a dance form, but a ‘Living Cultural Heritage’, which needs to be conserved and propagated in it’s authentic and graceful form as taught by Late Rajmata Saheba to her students.
Dr. Pratiba Naitthani
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, GANGAUR GHOOMAR DANCE ACADEMY
Dr Pratiba Naitthani is Asst. Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science at St. Xaviers’ college, Mumbai. Sangeet Visharad in Hindustani Classical Vocal from Bharitya Vidya Bhavan, (Affiliated to Bhatkhande Vdyapeeth Lucknow), Pratiba joined the academy in year 1988. After Gavri Devi’s demise in June 1988, Rajmata sa was looking for a singer who could sing the Rajwadi songs as per the traditional style. She guided and trained pratiba personally in Gavri devi’s style of singing. Originally from Garhwal, Uttarakhand she has begged her position as Rajasthani folk singer and has an album to her credit. She is the only non Rajasthani singer who had the honor of singing and recording the state song of Udaipur royal family- “Mharo veer Shiromani Des”. She has been to 16 countries in the world as a cultural representative being a member of Gaungaur Ghoomar Dance Academy. Along with the group she conducts workshops to promote Rajasthani songs, dance and culture.
Apart from this She is actively works for betterment of the society by taking up the issues such as:-
-Indecent representation of women in the media.
-Started a campaign against telecast of adult, ie violent and vulgar, content on television.
-Filed a PIL in Bombay High court in 2004, as a result many directions and orders were passed by Honourable Bombay High Court to make television family and children friendly.
-Consistent work on issues related to children, women, tribals and welfare of society at large.
-Using children, as young as 4-5 years old, to break the Handi, in the Dahi Handi celebration which is very dangerous.
-Children working on the sets of television serials for long shifts, which are now brought down to 4 hours per day.
-Advertisements which might be dangerous for children, if copied by them.
-Advertisements which demean women, which are objectionable.
-Vulgar/obscene posters, trailers, songs etc.
-Filed petition in the Rajyasabha petition committee on the issue of compulsory sex education programme, which was unscientific and pornographic, providing wrong information and halted it.
-On her petition the Bombay High Court prohibited advertisements of Massage Parlors, Escort services, which have sexual overtones, which offer services of women for male clients, in newspapers, journals etc. as these were proved to be advertisements of sex rackets.
-Filed a petition in the Rajyasabha Committee on the issue of accessibility of Child pornography and other forms of pornography and its impact.
-Has been working to help the cause of the Acid Attack Survivors. Along with Dr. Ashok Gupta, (Padmashree) renowned Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, was instrumental in increasing the punishment for the perpetrators of acid attack to 10 years imprisonment and above by an amendment in the CRPC Sect 326 A. They are also working towards rehabilitation, free surgeries of the Acid Attack Survivors and regulation of sale of Acid.
-Campaigned for the welfare of the Acid Attack Survivors and for reservation in jobs and educational institution for these survivors in the Disabled Category, which has now become a legal provision.
-Has been associated with the Mountain Shepherds, an initiative for Community Owned Tourism, in Uttarakhnad, right from the conception of the idea in 2006. Mountain Shepherds now is a tourism company, owned and managed by the school drop outs and unemployed youth, predominantly tribals, in Uttarakhand, The purpose of this venture is to reduce outmigration of youth from the hills and create job opportunities for them.
She was one among 29 women selected by India Today as Power Goddesses of India in 2005. Besides many awards for her contribution in the field of social service and media issues she has been awarded the prestigious Pannadhai Awarded by Maharana Mewar Foundation, Udaipur for going beyond the call of duty for social service 2006
She has also been felicitated by the Mayor of Mumbai on International Women’s Day in 2007 as the Outstanding Women of Mumbai city.