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Mission Statement for Courtyard Dancers


Courtyard Dancers’ performance and practice are our portal to express and experiment with intergenerational and intercultural themes and values to find our place as progressive global South Asians.  In that respect our dance technique while centering the rhythmic Kathak body is dynamic, eclectic, improvisational, and inclusive.  Join us to shape the contemporary cosmopolitan as COURTYARD K(C)ATHAK.

Courtyard is our platform where we hop off from the journey of the ordinary and normative to seek the extraordinary.  We dance and learn about India and South Asian cultures by focusing on the art of Kathak dance.  The music and dance of Kathak (thumri, ghazal, kavit, bols, gat) are our cosmopolitan inheritance from the courtesans of the Islamic and Hindu courts.  In our practice/riyaaz we mark the multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-gendered genesis of the dance from the syncretic cultures of India’s courtly milieu to our Contemporary Courtyard. While we seek our blessings from our women teachers and mentors, we are not bound by any one gurukul.

We believe that tradition and contemporary are not oppositional, but are best understood as legacies, connections, and transformations. We call our dance COURTYARD K(C)ATHAK to underscore our departure from the lineages of male gharanas, gurus, and associated hierarchies of classical Kathak.