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Kathak dance
Urmi Samadar, Kathak dancer, Kathak dance, 2018; Belmont, Massachusetts;
Urmi Samadar, Kathak dancer, Kathak dance, 2018

Belmont, Massachusetts
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Urmi Samadar
Belmont, MA
verticle bar apprentice
Anishka Yerabothu
Southborough, MA
Indian born dancer Urmi Samadar is a performing artist, instructor, and choreographer. Although Urmi is fluent in three forms of Indian classical dance, she specializes in Kathak. She credits her guru, Mrs. Sumitra Mitra Mukherjee, an exponent of the "Jaipur Gharana" stylistic school.

Kathak is a North Indian classical dance form with roots tracing back to 400 BC. While all Indian classical dances have a spiritual appeal, multiple cultures, dynasties, and scholars have uniquely influenced Kathak to its modern-day rendition. Bold footwork, flowing pirouettes called "chakkar, " and delicate hand gestures accompanied by improvisation and mathematical rhythm structures make Kathak distinct.

Apprentice Anishka Yerabothu has been dancing since age 7. She was captivated by Kathak's graceful hand gestures, dramatic spins, and vibrant costumes. After her initial instruction in Kathak with Isha Phadke, a visiting artist from India, Anishka she began her study with Urmi Samadar in 2014. She is now an advanced student of Kathak, a co-instructor, and a member of the performing ensemble of the Aakriti School of Dance.

By nature, Kathak'training and performance require working with live music. This aspect of Kathak makes its learning and practice both resource-intensive and challenging. This apprenticeship will focus on rhythm, footwork, pirouettes, hand movements, abhinaya (dramatic expression) and choreography. An added bonus is the inclusion of serious hours of dancing with live musicians (tabla, stringed instruments, and vocalists). The work plan is rigorous and will foster the transmission of this Indian classical dance form, which is far less commonly taught here in Massachusetts than Bharatanatyam dance.
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