Designed for a young audience, Spin, Stamp, Story tells the history of the North Indian dance form, kathak, through interactive storytelling and dance. Starting in the Mughal courts of the 16th century, dancer and historian Arpita Bajpeyi follows the changing story of who danced kathak, and where, up until the present day. Over the course of one hour, Spin, Stamp, Story will show you how kathak’s … Continue reading Spin, Stamp, Story!
Mehfil is a series of free, intimate performances that bring together kathak, its history, and my own history with the dance. Each Mehfil is an intimate performance that uses the North Indian dance form kathak and history to ask how the past and identity intersect. In this hour-long conversation, I explore how diasporic experiences can sit between worlds — of past and present, centres and margins, and home and … Continue reading Mehfil
The Rani of Sirmur is a work-in-progress kathak piece that is a response to the colonial archive. Inspired by Gayatri Spivak’s essay of the same name, the piece explores absences in the archive through affect and narrative. The Rani of Sirmur has been performed at as part of the keynote performance at the New Directions in Active History Conference at Huron College, University of Western Ontario, London … Continue reading The Rani of Sirmur
‘Katha kahe so kathak’ – katha, story, is the root of kathak. Those who dance kathak are storytellers. This phrase is invoked to explain the kathak’s history, extending its chronology to before the medieval period, when the form was actually introduced by Persian forces expanding into North India. This ‘history,’ which begins kathak’s history in a pre-Islamic ‘ancient/classical’ time, gives the Persian root of kathak … Continue reading Katha Kahe, So Kathak