WALTHAM, MA– Anjali Nath and Shefali Jain are two young women who are doing tremendous work in the Greater Boston Area and beyond to preserve an important part of India’s heritage – that is, Kathak dance, as passed on by the legendry Kathak dancer and teacher Pandit Chitresh Das.
Both Nath and Jain will perform a Kathak dance themed as “Nari Shakti” at the 14th Annual Woman of the Year Awards gala on Friday, June 3, at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA. The event will honor New England’s 20 outstanding women and bestow the Lifetime Achievement Award to local dance teacher Jasmine Shah.
At the Woman of the Year gala, Nath and Jain will bring to life two of Panditji’s signature pieces that, together, beautifully display the contrast between the grace and spirituality with the dynamic movement, rhythmic complexity and high energy inherent within Kathak.
In an exclusive video interview with INDIA New England News, Nath and Jain talk about their upcoming performance at Woman of the Year Awards gala and their journey into the world of Kathak. They also talk about features and history of Kathak and lessons learned from Pandit Chitresh Das and their local teacher Gretchen Hayden.
Nath is one of the most dynamic artists of a new generation of Kathak soloists having trained for 19 years with Pandit Das and his senior-most disciple, Gretchen Hayden. Known for her swift chakkars (spins), crisp footwork and delicate abhinaya, Nath’s performances are rooted deeply in the Kathak tradition, dazzling to watch, and deeply moving.
She has performed and toured with the Chitresh Das Dance company through the US and India and currently serves as senior instructor, school co-director and performer with Chhandika Institute of Kathak Dance.
Jain is an emerging force in the field of Kathak. She has trained for over 12 years with Gretchen Hayden and Pandit Das. Jain has performed
extensively as a soloist and member of the Chhandika dance ensemble throughout the northeast, most recently debuting in a full-length evening solo. She is also an apprentice of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, performing in its acclaimed productions of Sita Haran and Shiva. She is a senior instructor at the Chhandika Institute of Kathak Dance and founder and co-director of the Chhandika Youth Ensemble. She completed her undergraduate degree in biology from Yale University and is now working as a healthcare management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.