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The mission of Katha Dance Theatre (KDT) is to preserve the centuries old standard of excellence of North India’s Kathak dance culture through the development of innovative and collaborative works. We strive to make Kathak accessible through an uncompromising commitment to educational programs, performances, and outreach efforts, thus pushing the form's boundaries while establishing a diverse cultural community that embraces all.
Katha Dance Theatre (KDT) is a pioneering organization that works to encourage excellence in the practice of North Indian classical dance Kathak. Based on the track record of 25 years of producing high quality artistic work, it is Katha Dance Theatre’s best interest to continue with the reputation and grow.
In 2011, Artistic Director Rita Mustaphi was awarded the India Association of Minnesota’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her impact on Minnesota’s Asian-American community, the quality of her artistic programs, and the longevity of her creative endeavors.
The board of KDT perceives that the organization has a distinctive artistic niche that differentiates it from other dance companies in Minnesota. The spine of all of KDT’s work is traditional Kathak - the foundational heritage from which their work springs. However, KDT’s hallmark is not simply classic North Indian dance. Building out from the foundation of Kathak, KDT explores themes and social issues relevant to contemporary life through new choreography. The work is narrative, often collaborative with other musicians or dance styles, combines theater and dance, and uses evocative costumes and sets to create an atmospheric and complete sensory experience. The Twin Cities is increasingly diverse and is a culturally rich and supportive place. KDT is unique in the Midwest with it’s professional Kathak-based performing company and school.
By watching 'Soul to Sole’ spring 2010 (Indian Kathak dance with American Gospel music) an audience member writes: What a wonderful, uplifting performance. The blend of interpretation between voice and dance was so seamless it was a question of song being interpreted by dance or dance by song...Beautiful work and great talent!
By watching Sundari Aur Nag (Beauty and the Beast), fall of 2008, a 6 th. Grade student writes: I wish I had seen more culture dance. The Indian dances made me feel like I wanted to go up there and dance with them. The performance reminded me of how you should never judge a book by its cover because the snake (Nag) turned out to be a good human.
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