NY Kathak festival brings alive the 5000-year-old Indian classical dance form


The 3-day event organized by American Kathak Community, featured mesmerizing performances by emerging and established Kathak artists from around the world

Our Bureau

New York City, NY

The New York Kathak Festival was organized at the Peter Norton Symphony Space paying homage to the 5000-year-old art form rooted in the storytelling traditions of India. It featured Indian Kathak dancer Rajendra Gangani. The three-day event organized by American Kathak Community, featured a spectacular lineup of emerging and established artists from around the world who demonstrated the depth and versatility of Kathak.

The New York Kathak Festival is a nonprofit organization that presents and promotes dancers, scholars, and practitioners of Kathak, a classical dance tracing its origins to India. The festival brings together established and emerging artists from across the United States and beyond. The Kathak Festival is produced by the American Kathak community, inspiring creative exchange between local Kathak artists and diverse New York audiences.

“The festival is drawing the world’s attention to New York City, creating an ocean of droplets dedicated to kathak,” said Gangani, the director at the Kathak Kendra in New Delhi, as well as New York’s own Prashant Shah.  He held workshops on the second day of the festival at Ballet Hispánico.

Gangani who presented the finale, expressed, “The New York Kathak Festival is doing great work for peace, happiness, art, and artists— may this festival live for 1000 years

Dancer Seema Viswanath’s performance on the opening day was dedicated to those who passed away during the pandemic. The concert was headlined by legendary artist, Vidushi Shama Bhate and her disciple, Ameera Patankar. Bhate, on the third day, demonstrated a lecture on tradition and innovation within Kathak’s choreography. “The discussions at the New York Kathak Festival provided a unique platform for dancers to deepen their understanding of Kathak and explore new perspectives. It was a transformative experience for all,” said a participant.

The festival closed with solo performances with graceful spins and emotive storytelling. The Massachusetts-based Shefali Jain’s presentation moved audience members to tears with her depiction of the story of Draupadi. Bhate, upon closing the concert stated, “I pray that such festivals are in every corner of this world — the resonance of ghungroos, everywhere.”

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