IAA premiers Kathak ballet ‘Satrangi Re…Shades of Love’


Deepa Devasena and the Kathak Dance Collective on stage - Photo by Golden Ray Photography

IAA is a Houston Cultural Treasure designated by the BIPOC Arts Network & Fund

Our Bureau

Houston, TX

‘Satrangi Re…Shades of Love’ premiered at the Wortham Center on Saturday, April 20, 2024. IAA presented the Kathak ballet conceptualized and performed by Deepa Devasena and her troupe, the Kathak Dance Collective. The performance also featured Houston’s own dance leaders Dolly Goyal, of Steps for Dancing School, and Ekta Popat, of Storytellers School of Dance, in prominent guest appearances. The introduction to the evening was given by the highly respected Kathak exponent Kalpana Subbarao.

Kalpana Subbarao introducing the show – Photo by Golden Ray Photography

The talent and virtuosity of the dancers breathed life into the vibrant performance that depicted the unfolding of the life of Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Awadh, through the prism of Sufi wisdom. The stunning choreography by Devasena blended traditional Kathak sequences, which showcased the dancers’ mastery over intricate footwork, with contemporary composition.

Brought alive through a lavish set, illuminated by hundreds of candles, this cinematic odyssey was a musical extravaganza that left audiences mesmerized. An audience member said, “The visuals, stage design, lighting and costumes, choreography and above all grace, elegance and skill of the dancers was amazing … It was easy to see that Ms. Devasena [is a] skilled and graceful performer and [it is] a visual delight to watch her dance.”

Guest artists Ekta Popat and Dolly Goel – Photo by Golden Ray Photography

As a Houston Cultural Treasure and the city’s longest running arts organization with a mission to preserve and promote the performing arts of the Indian subcontinent, IAA is focused on its mission of fostering greater community engagement. Sheetal Bedi, the CEO and Executive Director of IAA, said, “Satrangi Re… furthered this mission and provided a wonderful platform where Houston’s Kathak dance community could come together to share ideas and resources freely, supporting the spirit of creativity and collaboration.”

The artists with IAA board members and other guests – Photo by Golden Ray Photography

The Indo-American Association (IAA) is a 30-year-young, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization for the promotion of cultural arts of India with cross-cultural collaborations between artists from India, US and other countries. Over the past three decades, IAA has hosted legends and the “who’s who” of Indian music, dance and theater—including Grammy winners Pt. Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Ricky Kej—to entertain and enthrall Houston audiences. IAA is now a Houston Cultural Treasure designated by the BIPOC Arts Network & Fund.

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