Anjali Nath is one of the most dynamic artists of a new generation of Kathak soloists. Known for her swift chakkars (spins), crisp footwork and delicate abhinaya, Anjali's solo performances are rooted deeply in the kathak tradition, dazzling to watch, and deeply moving. Anjali carries forward a significant legacy of dedication to high artistry, education and training of the next generation of kathak artists and students, and promotion and evolution of the vast and rich art of kathak dance through performance and teaching.
Statement on Current Work
I am very thankful that, in a difficult and heat-wrenching time for people all over the world, the gift of kathak has allowed me to provide outlets for students and audiences of all ages, from the US to Canada and India, to find connection, meaning, purpose, and joy, through Zoom classes and performances. Through the Young Audiences of Massachusetts I get to share the art of kathak with school children across Massachusetts. Since 2013, I have been engaging these young audiences in the history, music, movements, rhythms, math (!), stories of kathak and providing a safe "space" to move and express themselves.
Background & Training
Anjali is a disciple of renowned Kathak maestro, the late Pandit Chitresh Das. In 1997, Anjali was introduced to the rich and vast world of Kathak dance by Gretchen Hayden, senior disciple of Pandit Das and Artistic Director of Chhandika, while at Tufts University.
In 2003, Anjali was accepted into the acclaimed Chitresh Das Dance Company (CDDC), based in the San Francisco Bay Area, iwhere she spent 10 years training directly under the guidance of Pandit Das, teaching and directing at the Chhandam School, performing in various community arts education programs, and in several award-winning company productions. Anjali toured extensively with the company throughout the US and India at prestigious venues and cities such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Roy and Edna Disney Cal/Arts Theater in Los Angeles, Kohler Arts Center, National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai, Birla Sabhagar in Kolkata, Bangalore Club, at the Shaniwar Wada Festival of Pune, and several International Kathak Festivals. In addition to solo performances, Anjali performed in numerous CDDC productions, including "Shiva," Pt. Das' last work, "Shabd," featuring Pt. Das' innovative technique of Kathak Yoga, and played the lead as Sita in "Sita Haran" and "Ramayana." Upon returning to Boston in 2013, Anjali served as a senior artist and instructor for Chhandika, sharing kathak with communities across New England and beyond. Anjali contributed to the education and advancement of the next generations of kathak artists and building a vibrant community through the art. Anjali served as co-director of the Chhandika Youth Ensemble and co-created professional productions staged in Boston and NYC, including "TĀLAM," "Voice of Kathak," "Synced," and more. Anjali has played a substantial role in building bridges within and between communities as a teacher, choreographer, and ambassador for the art. Anjali was instrumental in Chhandika's pivot to online classes and performances bringing students from Boston and Mumbai together to train and share in invaluable learning experiences. She also jointly spearheaded a significant effort to bring a rework of Pandit Das' "Gold Rush" to life which was ultimately postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic and a new calling.
Colliding Passions and Careers
Anjali holds a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University and a Masters in Public Health from Boston University. She has passionately pursued her career in Kathak and public health simultaneously for 19 years working with communities and engaging youth in leadership and activities to improve self-esteem and overall health and well-being.
Arts as Service to Society
Anjali believes in the art as a vehicle for service to society and a path to self-awareness available to everyone. As an artist and teacher Anjali strives to highlight the relevance, universality, and overall benefits of the multi-faceted art of Kathak for everyone, regardless of age, gender or culture.
Activities & Acknowledgements
- Chhandika, Senior Artist, Instructor Chhandika Youth Ensemble
- Young Audiences of Massachusetts Artist (2013-present)
· Nominee, Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, 2009 – for Shabd, choreographed by Pandit Chitresh Das
· Official Voting Member, San Francisco Arts Task Force (2007 to Present)
· Artist in Residence, Young Audiences of CA, Markham Elementary School in Hayward, CA (Spring 2007)
The torch I get to bear carries embers from so many I have truly been so blessed to be loved, taught, guided, supported, and challenged by. From my parents, Vikram and Serita Nath, and family who have supported my love of dance from the very beginning, taking me to ballet classes and attending recitals from age 4 to 18. Then came college dance performances of all kinds, to kathak classes I've taken and taught and performances, til this day. From Gretchenji, who brought this life path before me with her generosity and unmatched and unending grace, patience, and persistent encouragement. From Pandit Chitresh Das, whom I had the honor to know, love, and acknowledge as my Guruji. Your unending dedication to your vision and belief in all of us was so large it could not be realized in one lifetime. To all of my Guru sisters and Guru elders who have been part of this unique, blessed, sometimes insane journey - we have grown together and have much growing to still do. Thank you for the love and lessons. To Shefali Jain, who has kept me going all of these years. You are an inspiration and your pure love, patience, leadership, wisdom, and partnership (and a million other adjectives) are why I stand where I do today. You are a blessing to me, to Guruji's vision, and to this art.
Gretchen Hayden, Founder and Artistic Director, Chhandika Institute of Kathak Dance. The source of my journey in kathak.
With Chhandika artists, Meenakshi Verma Agrawal, Gretchen Hayden, Anjali Nath, Shefali Jain.