To educate, promote and thus, preserve the rich kathak tradition and lineage of Pandit Chitresh Das. Dedicated to presenting kathak in a range of formats to ensure access for all. My goal is to increase awareness of, as well as appreciation and support for, the art, the profession and all it has to offer for the observer, supporter or active participant. To carry forward a legacy dedicated to high caliber artistry that brings together community and serves the betterment of society through the art of kathak.
I take great joy in sharing the art of Kathak through a range of performance and teaching activities that inspire, energize and enlighten audiences and participants alike.
The style of Kathak that I practice and teach is deeply rooted in tradition yet highlights innovation within the tradition. As one of the few trained professionally as a teacher and performer by the renowned Kathak Guru, the late Pandit Chitresh Das I am actively carrying forward this unique and significant legacy of education and performance in the field of kathak. My performances and presentations maintain the integrity of the art, are engaging, educational, exciting and have much to offer audiences and participants of any age, gender, or culture in any format.
Though Kathak is an ancient art form, it has experienced a fascinating evolution throughout its history that the audience gets to experience through this program. Kathak evolved from it’s beginnings as a storytelling art when Kathakas, storytellers, would travel from village to village telling stories through dance and mime, to a devotional dance in Hindu temples, then became a form of entertainment during the Mughal rule when it was brought into the courts, and gradually evolved into a highly stylized, highly rhythmic and mathematical solo dance performed for two to three hours during all night concerts with live music, and on to the proscenium stage through a range of solo and ensemble performances as seen today.
The rich solo tradition is the hallmark of Kathak and demands that the dancer alone display all the key elements of Kathak with great knowledge and skill. Unfortunately, this vibrant and important tradition is dying out. I take great pride in being part of carrying on a legacy that has contributed to the evolution of the art while maintaining its integrity and celebrating its traditions. I am fortunate to be able to bring Kathak in its traditional format to these diverse audiences and open their minds to what Kathak has to offer.
Art is a powerful tool with myriad benefits that everyone deserves access to. The arts can be a valuable means to elevate society as well as be of service to society. I have had the honor of working with men, women, children from all walks of life, facing challenges you and I could possibly never fathom and making a positive impact through the art. Beyond being an art of high quality and caliber, Kathak offers an outlet for joy, a means for self-exploration and challenge, a positive outlet for self-expression and meditation, a way to understand how to overcome obstacles and limitations, inspire creativity, confidence and more.
Working with Children with Special Needs or Challenges
My volunteer work with the non-profit Dancin Power has significantly enhanced my ability to engage children with varying abilities. Through Dancin Power I have been trained and have worked with children of all ages in the hospital setting who are receiving extended treatment for cancer, severe burns and a range of other medical and physical challenges. The dynamic nature of the dance also makes it feasible for everyone to engage and enjoy in their own unique way. Everyone can dance!
"Kathak is not a hobby. It is a way of life."
Pandit Chitresh Das