• Guru Shri Munna Shukla is a dancer of a rare lyrical grace, a most refined choreographer and a teacher of immense knowledge of live tradition and ancient texts, with a sharp pedagogical intuition. The personality of Munna Shukla reminds the public that classical dance and music in India have for centuries been a spiritual practice, not just a matter of aesthetics.
• MAESTRO IN EVERY WAY-Guru Munna Shukla is a maestro in every sense of the word- of thought and action and above all kathak…. Hindustan Times
• As an established master- in Kathak Kendra and then outside- he has been known for his rich vocabulary, intricate layakari and nuanced expressions… The Pioneer
• His sensitivity to the aesthetics of visual images and dynamics are remarkable, coupled with the chosen intricacies of rhythm… The Pioneer
• THE VANISHING ART OF SUBTLETY…A rare evening saw the Guru take India International Centre stage in the unusual performer role. How often does one see five-and-a-half quarter matras or six-and-three-quarter matras in foot work.
Instead of the usual “ Shorsharaba” of kathak rhythmic frenzy, Guru Munna Shukla’s Teentaal exposition highlighted the subtleties of kathak - The Kasak-masak, the delicate wrist and torso movements, which in the current compulsions of fluently negotiating larger performances spaces, have been lost sight of.
Here one witnessed delicate movement shadings and an attitudnal change with suttle rhythmic touches pulsating with silent fractional intervals between Tala Beats adding piquancy to the articulated syllables. Leela Venkataraman - The Hindu
• THE SCHOLAR CHOREOGRAPHER…When a Pakshi Paran was planned for his students he considered it essential to check movements of a bird first. An entire journey to banglore was devoted to study Richard Bach’s noted book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull.
• While the critics compared Kraunch-badh to a mini Swan Lake,he was looking for some loopholes if any. A knowledgeable remark that the sprawling dancer looked more human than an avian was far more valuable to him than all the deafening praise! … The Pioneer
• Munna Shukla represents eight generations of Lucknow Kathak gharana… the guru maintained that kathak was the oldest dance form with celestial origin, rejecting the view that the form is a hybrid offspring of the vastly divergent Mughal and Hindu Culture…The Tribune
• The Kathak maestro, Pandit Munna Shukla, is an admirable three-in- one: a large hearted, self effacing and very effective teacher; an excellent performer himself even at present age; and a prolific creator of radically new dance numbers which no where spill over the Kathak idiom inspite of their aesthetic diversity and opulence. Nor is his repertoire of traditional numbers lacking in beauty and variety. As an exponenet and teacher of kathak, and also a speaker on this dance form, Munna ji has regaled audiences in quite a few foreign countries.
However, what I like most about him is that inspite of his enviable achievements, including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akadmi Award of excellence in classical dance, he remains a simple, gentle and affable person. I cannot help wishing him the felicity of unceasing creativity along with personal contentment.
Music Critic, the Hindustan Times; Senior Fellow,Deptt. Of Culture, Govt of India; Senior Fellow,Indian Council of Philosophical Research .PADMA BHUSHAN