“Kathak E-motion”: April 28 – 30 at the Park Square Theatre

Katha Dance Theatre is proud to present a classic Kathak dance work in the vein of those performed for kings and emperors in 18th century India. Kathak E-motion embodies the grandiosity and opulence of Hindu and Islamic royal courts while also exemplifying the art form’s integral expression of emotions, known as Abhinya. Using Kathak’s complex rhythms, intricate footwork, graceful movements, pirouettes, and gestural storytelling, Kathak E-motion epitomizes the form in breathtaking style.

Featuring live music and a guest dance performance by world-renowned artists Kousic Sen, Chandrachur Bhattacharjee, Pankaj Mishra, Pooja Goswami Pavan, Anirban Bhattacharyya, and Souvik Chakraborty. Choreography by Rita Mustaphi.


7 pm Friday, April 28
7 pm Saturday, April 29
1:30 pm Sunday, April 30 (ASL-interpreted)


Park Square Theatre at the Historic Hamm Building, 20 West 7th Place, St. Paul, MN 55102


All tickets (General Admission) – $30. Eligible buyers can use the promo code(s) below for discounted rates.

VIP tickets: $70 (perks include front-row seats for the performance; an invitation to attend an informal rehearsal on April 22 at the KDT studio, to be followed by refreshments and a meet-and-greet with the artists; an invitation to attend a post-show Q&A, private reception and meet-and-greet; and a small thank-you gift from KDT). A limited number of VIP tickets are available each performance, so act fast!

Discounted rates:

Seniors (62 and up) – $25 tickets with promo code SEN

Students (with ID) and youth 18 and under – $16 tickets with promo code STU – please note that this code is open only to youth/students and not their parents.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and thanks to a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is also supported in part by St. Paul Cultural STAR, the McKnight Foundation, the RBC Foundation, the Archie and Bertha Walker Foundation, and the generosity of KDT’s private donors.

A Loss in the KDT Community

Marcia Boehnlein (l) and Ellen Murphy

It’s with great sadness that we announce the passing of Marcia Boehnlein, a Board member and valued member of the KDT community. Marcia was a longtime advocate of KDT, a former school parent, and passionate supporter of the arts who loyally attended KDT’s performances, studio opening and online events, even during her difficult battle with cancer. She will be greatly missed!

Marcia (at left, wearing white) is pictured with her partner, Ellen Murphy. Below, she’s shown with her daughter Frannie and granddaughter Frida. We ask that you keep them, and everyone who knew Marcia, in your thoughts!

(l to r) Marcia, Ellen, Frida and Frannie
Marcia, Frida and Ellen

Saraswati Puja 2023

Saraswati Puja and Basant Panchami poster

Katha Dance Theatre, in partnership with the Hindu Society of Minnesota, cordially invites you to a celebration of Saraswati Puja and Basant Panchami. This Hindu festival celebrates and honors the goddess of knowledge, music and art while welcoming the first day of spring.

Since 1990, celebrating Saraswati Puja and Basant Panchami has been an annual KDT event. It welcomes students, parents, patrons and the community at large to honor Saraswati, the goddess of art and learning, as well as to celebrate the beginning of Spring! The event includes a religious ceremony, a folk art display, a celebration through dance and music, authentic Indian food, and more. Through hosting the festival, KDT opens its doors to the community to celebrate together. 

WHAT: Saraswati Puja & Basant Panchami Celebration

WHEN: 8:30am – 1:00 pm, Sunday, January 29, 2023

WHERE: The Hindu Temple of Minnesota (10530 Troy Lane, Maple Grove, MN 55311)


9:00 – 10:00 am: Preparation for the ritual (organizing the space for flower garland making, sandalwood paste, alpana or rangoli) 

9:45 – 10:15 am: Worship ritual (Saraswati Puja) guided by Temple Priests

10:15 – 11:00 am: Community performance 

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Katha Dance Theatre showcase performance, all KDT dancers are welcome to join

12 – 12:30 pm: Aarti & pushpanjali – the offering of flowers and accepting the blessings

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Prasad & lunch at the first floor (need to buy your own food)

Katha Dance Theatre Announces Premiere of “Kathak E-motion”

Katha Dance Theatre (KDT) is pleased to announce the upcoming world premiere of a brand-new dance work: Kathak E-motion. The show will premiere at the Park Square Theatre in downtown St. Paul, MN April 28 – 30, 2023.

With this production, director/choreographer Rita Mustaphi is creating a classic Kathak work in the vein of those performed for kings and emperors in 18th century India. Kathak E-motion embodies the grandiosity and opulence of Hindu and Islamic royal courts while also exemplifying the art form’s integral expression of emotions, known as Abhinya. Using Kathak’s complex rhythms, intricate footwork, graceful movements, pirouettes and gestural storytelling, KDT’s professional Kathak dancers and guest dancer Souvik Chakraborty of Kolkata, India will recount ancient tales of gods and goddesses, depict stories of love, as well as perform abstract, purely expressive dances.

Kathak E-motion perfectly exemplifies the Kathak tradition, as it not only features thrilling displays of dance mastery that epitomize the form, but will also be set to live music performed by world-renowned Hindustani musicians Kousic Sen of London, UK (Tabla), Chandrachur Bhattacharjee of Kolkata, India (Sitar), Anirban Bhattacharyya of New Delhi, India (vocals), Dr. Pooja Goswami Pavan of Minneapolis, MN (vocals) and Pankaj Mishra of Toronto, Canada (Sarengi). It truly encapsulates the range through which Kathak can convey what Rita Mustaphi describes as the “magic” in the expression of emotions.

The production is the latest in the long list of Rita Mustaphi’s choreographic works, which have spanned a multitude of historical eras, musical genres and diverse cultural influences since KDT’s founding in 1987. Tickets and showtimes forthcoming.
Kathak E-motion, April 28 – 30, 2023. Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, Historic Hamm Building, St. Paul, MN 55102. For more information about Katha Dance Theatre and its programming, visit https://kathadance.org.

Tour/Outreach in Greater Minnesota

We were pleased to visit communities in St. Cloud, Mankato and Faribault for a late-summer/early Fall tour. In addition to performing Kathak Yatra – The Journey of Kathak Dance in these communities, we offered select outreach programs in the form of introductory Kathak workshops.

Thank you so much to Paramount Center for The Arts, Minnesota State University, Mankato and Shattuck-St. Mary’s School for having us! See photos of our experiences below.

KDT performers in Kathak Yatra
KDT performers onstage in “Kathak Yatra” at Paramount Center for the Arts. Photo by Anjana Nair.
Outreach workshop at MSU, Mankato
Rita Mustaphi leads a Kathak workshop for students at MSU, Mankato. Photo by Corrie Eggimann.
Rita Mustaphi leads a Kathak workshop for students at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. Photo by Kalyan Mustaphi.