Integrating Experiential Learning Through Kathak in any Subject Area Dance


Integrating Experiential Learning Through Kathak in any Subject Area

Artist: Kathaka
Type: Professional Development
Art Form: Dance|Exploring Cultures
Grade Level: Professional Development for Adults
Scheduling Request

Kathak dance is more than dance! It is an amalgamation of history, philosophy, movement, organic math, and so much more. Kathak is a rich and dynamic north Indian classical dance form with so many elements that can spark interest, engagement, and learning among students with a range of learning styles and abilities. Kathak is for anyone, regardless of age or gender identity. No matter what your subject area or class, this workshop will open possibilities for how you can creatively enhance your curriculum for any age group with elements of Kathak. Experience how storytelling, rhythm, math, music, language, cross-cultural exploration can all be brought out with some simple, fun, and clever tools and techniques in your classroom. Instructor Anjali Nath will tailor the lesson plan for each school site and is also able to work with teachers to develop their own creative activities.

Schools are encouraged to pair this Professional Development program with the performance Kathaka: Dancing Rhythms and Stories of India in order to introduce context, and deepen the impact of the workshop.

 Available online or in person

Length: 3 Hours (can be split up)
Audience Limit: 15

Goal: Learn to adapt elements of Kathak to develop simple, unique, fun, and enriching activities with students.

Educator Learning Targets:

  1. Understand the elements of kathak that come together to create stories
  2. Experience and understand basic concepts of rhythm, music, expression, gestures 
  3. Understand how the dance is historical, philosophical, and highly mathematical

Student Learning Targets:

  1. Create stories and communicate using elements of rhythm, music, expression, gesture, math
  2. Encourage student creativity and engagement, and connection with themselves and each other through creative activity.
  3. Provide an outlet for students to understand, express, experience the range of human emotion; express feelings through the dance.
  4. Create stories/vignettes that highlight something meaningful to the students
  5. Engage students with different learning styles and strengths; differing social-emotional needs

Fun Facts:

  • Kathak comes from the word “kathā,” meaning story, and a “kathaka” is a storyteller.
  • Kathak is traditionally a solo art, where one dancer portrays all animate and inanimate elements and characters in a story (a turn denotes a change in character); “Ardhanariswara” is a beautiful concept that acknowledges a masculine and feminine side within everyone. 
  • Kathakas don’t use words when telling a story - they use their expressions and movements
  • Kathak is the only art form that integrates both Hindu and Muslim elements
  • Stories are inherent in all classical dances of India. Many stories are based in Hindu mythology.
  • Kathak dancers wear “ghunghrÅ«,” or ankle bells, as an extension of themselves and they become a percussive instrument



UPAJ documentary on Amazon Prime: Pandit Chitresh Das and Jason Samuels Smith
Pandit Chitresh Das TEDx Talk
Anjali Nath & fellow dancers - TEDx Natick
Live performance clip at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai, Dec 2019

School must schedule three 60 minute sessions minimum within a two month period with the same group of teachers.


3 Sessions: $2,200

Additional Sessions (60 minutes): $700

Travel: $65 per day

Planning fee based on scope of program

Pricing may vary for weekends/out-of-school time
Processing Fee of $30 added to all contracts


School sets up link for remote meeting and makes the artist a co-host. Artist is also happy to set up a zoom link, if helpful. Screen share must be enabled.  Please have a staff member meet the artist online 5-15 minutes prior to the start to test technology and review the session plan. Please introduce them as an Arts for Learning Massachusetts artist.

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