Tale of a Kathaka

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The traditional solo is considered the highest level of mastery in Kathak, a story-telling classical dance of North India. In ancient times, Kathakas (story-tellers) went from village to village, dancing & singing tales from the ancient epics. But what is the story of a modern-day Kathaka? The dancer must captivate the audience and bring them into his/her world.  This is accomplished by talking to the audience in between segments or compositions and describing the story—giving pieces of knowledge, artistry and humor along the way. There is an intimate, almost interactive nature between artist and audience.

Bhardwaj brings to life this ancient art form, with a relevance to the new generation. She explores the inherent mathematics within the classical Hindustani music and dance. From shlokas that define the concept of “infinity,” to the relationship of numbers to taal – the unique rhythmic cycle system of Hindustani music, she shows how the mathematical equation 3x + 2y = z is relevant on the dance floor. Through Das’ innovation of Kathak Yoga, a mind-body practice that requires the dancer to sing, dance, and play an instrument all at once, Bhardwaj challenges with complex layakari (playing with the rhythm) and precise clarity of her lightning footwork. Known for her strong abhinaya, or mime & story-telling, Bhardwaj has dazzled audiences throughout the United States and India with her magnetic stage presence, and her approach to delving deep into the traditional art with a unique, modern voice.

Friday June 6 (7 p.m.), Friday-Sunday June 27-29 (Friday 8:30 p.m., Saturday 5:30 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m.)

Actor’s Company, Let Live Theater, 916 N. Formosa Ave., Los Angeles.www.antarabhardwaj.com. Antara@kathak.org.

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