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. 

Showcase 6: Tarana-Sargam / In Retrospect

Photo: Anjana Nair

To everyone who has watched and enjoyed our Showcase Series over the past few months, thank you! We hope you’ll join us for our last hurrah as we celebrate our apprentices and Company and look back at how we made the best of our pandemic year.

We’re so grateful to all members of the KDT family who have helped bring these showcases to life! Thank you to Aaratrika Mondal and Jalpa Mathur for their editing skills, to our teachers for their recorded contributions and leadership, and to our wonderful students for working so hard to make their performances the best they could be.

Watch with us May 28 – 30 on Vimeo!

Showcase 5: Coming April 23

Photo: Anjana Nair

This month, our penultimate student showcase explores the idea of journeys. Through celebrating both our Adult 1A students and some of their more experienced counterparts, we’ll demonstrate how the excitement and promise at the beginning of the dancer’s journey transitions into proficiency and confidence down the road.

Featuring recent KDT student performances at the Bharathotsav International Virtual Dance Competition. Click on the image above to watch starting on April 23!

Watch all of our past showcases here.

KDT Students Win at Dance Competition

We are so proud to share that three talented KDT students have come in first and second place at the Bharathotsav International Virtual Dance Competition in Ottawa, Canada! Sisters Aaratrika and Ayushmita Mondal each won a category (Kathak solo ages 9 – 12 and ages 4 – 8, respectively), while Indra Khariwala placed second in the ages 13 – 20 category.

The competition was organized by The Great India Festival, which for the past ten years has worked to increase awareness of Indian history and culture throughout Canada with the goal of promoting cross-cultural connection and understanding.

In addition to organizing multiple festivals and events throughout the year, TGIF also offers workshops and educational opportunities about a multitude of Indian cultural traditions from yoga, music, dance, and food to the country’s contributions to philosophy and literature. Learn more about them here.

What an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations, ladies! Watch their performances below.

Aaratrika:

Ayushmita:

Indra:

Rita Mustaphi Wins Nari Shakti Award

Photo: Erik Saulitis

On March 8, 2021, KDT Founder and Artistic Director Rita Mustaphi was given the Nari Shakti award for women’s empowerment by the Urvashi Dance, Music, Art and Culture Society in New Delhi, India!

Rita was selected for the award alongside other accomplished gurus by a panel of jurors from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations. The award recognizes her decades of leadership as a “benchmark for the females of India.”

Fittingly, the virtual awards ceremony came on this year’s International Women’s Day. Watch the event here.


In other recent news, Shilpi Roy, one of our interns, won the Jury Award at the Urvashi Society’s international talent competition, “Sur Taal Hunaar ka Kamal.” 

The competition featured a variety of talented dancers from around the globe, and we are so proud that Shilpi was recognized for her hard work and dedication.

Watch her final performance, choreographed by Rita Mustaphi, as part of the competition’s “grand finale” here.