Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Kathak dancers bring a taste of India to DU

Indian dancers

Pandit Chitresh Das and Emmy Award-winning tap star Jason Samuels Smith in their collaborative performance, “India Jazz Suites.” PHOTO BY: Marty Sohl.

This week — Kathak — one of the six major classical dances of India, is being presented at DU. Dancers Pandit Das and Jason Smith are in Denver for a week-long residency, which culminates with a free performance in Gates Hall at the Newman Center on Oct. 12 from 2:30–3:30 p.m. 

Throughout the week, the duo will offer workshops, performances and classes for local schools, university students and the public.

“It is our pleasure to present ‘India Jazz Suites,’ a collaboration by two major artists in the dance world,” says Sarah Morelli, an assistant professor of ethnomusicology at DU’s Lamont School of Music

Morelli describes Das as “one of the foremost Kathak dancers currently performing on the international stage” and Smith as “a rising star in the tap dance world.” At 24, Smith received an Emmy award for his tap performance and choreography.

The artists were child prodigies who met backstage at the 2004 American Dance Festival. They’re coming together in Denver because they share the belief that the arts bring communities together and create greater understanding between cultures.

In addition to their work at DU, the dancers will perform at the Lakewood Cultural Center on Oct. 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. each night.

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