Photo by Marty Sohl

Farah Yasmeen Shaikh
& Chhandam-Chitresh Das Dance Company

Kathak is among the six major classical dances from North India, and is traditionally a solo performer art. The work Kathak comes from the work "katha," meaning to tell a story. It is also synonymous with the community of artists known as Kathakas whose hereditary profession it was to narrate history while entertaining with dance, music, poetry, and mime. Over the centuries, Kathak made its way from the Hindu temples as a form of religious devotion and into the courts of the reigning rulers where it became refined and more akin to its current form.

This evening’s performance will feature two pieces choreographed by
Pandit Chitresh Das

Rangmanch means to color the stage. Here the dancers enact a puja (worship) through mudra (hand gesture) and movement; they sanctify the stage with water, flame, incense and the ringing of a bell; the dancers offer flowers and a mala (flower garland) to the deity, blow on the conch shell and place sandal wood paste on the diety's third eye. They invoke the three deities, Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Maheshwara (the destroyer of illusion). Finally the dancers begin to perform nritta, pure dance.

Rangmanch - Performed by members of the Chitresh Das Dance Company & Chhandam School of Kathak - Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, Leah Brown, Anjali Nath, Rina Mehta, Dmitra Smith, Janina Kokorowski, & Pooja Doshi.

Composed & Choreographed by Pandit Chitresh Das, and assisted by Principal Company
Member, Charlotte Moraga.

Photo by Marty Sohl
Kathak Yoga is a concept created and developed by Pandit Chitresh Das which involves the dancers reciting the underlying rhythmic structure, taal, while producing complex mathematical equations with the body, maintaining multiple layers of focus with the mind, body and breath. The dancers recite the cycle of beats, here it is tintal, a cycle of 16 beats, while producing a series of tihais, rhythmical patterns repeated three times, each that begin on different beats within the cycle, but all ending on 1 or sam, the first and last beat of the taal.

Kathak Yoga & Malkauns Tarana - Performed by members of the Chitresh Das Dance Company - Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, Seibi Lee, Leah Brown, Anjali Nath & Rina Mehta.

Composed & Choreographed by Pandit Chitresh Das, and assisted by Principal Company Member, Charlotte Moraga.


The Chhandam School of Kathak Dance is dedicated to the preservation, education and advancement of Kathak. Chhandam's mission is to make Kathak accessible to people of all cultural backgrounds and to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the depth and universality of the Indian classical tradition.

The Chhandam School of Kathak Dance, the official school of the Chitresh Das Dance Company(CDDC), is a bridge to our local communities, passing down the art form to future generations through classes, workshops and performances. The school is also the source of the Chitresh Das Youth Company. There are branches in Berkeley, Union City, San Jose, San Francisco, Mountain View, Boston, Toronto and Kolkata, India.

The Chitresh Das Dance Company (CDDC) is comprised of dancers whose abilities exemplify Pandit Chitresh Das’ emphasis on the technical, graceful and dramatic aspects of Kathak dance. Principal Company members have become established artists in their own right, performing internationally to great acclaim. CDDC is an inspiring example of the vision of Chitresh Das to create access to the captivating and dynamic Kathak tradition to audiences throughout the world.

For more information on Pandit Chitresh Das, the Chitresh Das Dance Company and the Chhandam School of Kathak, please visit:

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