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)

THE SCHEDULE: 

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.

Celebration of Pandit Birju Maharaj

Available now: On what would have been his 84th birthday, join us as we look back at the late Pandit Birju Maharaj’s unparalleled career and share how much he meant to us!

Please enjoy the event, which also celebrates Saraswati Puja and Basant Panchami––a festival honoring the arrival of Spring.

Watch on Vimeo through Feb. 6!

KDT Company performs Saraswati Bandana

Ganga to Mississippi – A Confluence of Waters

World Premiere Work-in-Progress Performance
June 25 – 27 on Vimeo

Rita Mustaphi on the banks of the Ganges river. Photo: Kalyan Mustaphi

We’re pleased to announce the work-in-progress premiere of an exciting new performance concept two years in the making!

Ganga to Mississippi – A Confluence of Waters is an original dance work that juxtaposes the roles of the Ganges and Mississippi rivers in their respective environments. Spanning continents and cultural traditions, Ganga uses Kathak dance and spoken word elements to highlight the important role that rivers play in our ecosystems, emphasizing the impact of river pollution on climate change and advocating for universal access to clean, drinkable water.

Filmed on the banks of the Ganges and Mississippi riversGanga features original Kathak choreography by KDT Artistic Director Rita Mustaphi, who will perform solo in this in-progress look. As portrayed through Kathak’s elegant lyricism, Ganga is a moving and powerful ode to these majestic rivers and an urgent call for their eternal preservation.

A full filmed performance, set to premiere this August, will include performances by KDT lead dancer/choreographer Rita Mustaphi with Company members Mukta Sathe and Madhulika Srikanth; live music by an ensemble that includes Praful KelkarAbhinav SharmaRitika Ganguly and Shinjan Sengupta; poetic and musical contributions by Sharon M. Day, the Executive Director of Indigenous Peoples Task Force; live vocals by One Voice Mixed Chorus Artistic Director Jane Ramseyer Miller, and more.

The work-in-progress premiered on June 25. Watch below!

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.