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A Guru's JourneyPandit Chitresh Das and Indian Classical Dance in Diaspora$
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Sarah Morelli

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042867

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042867.001.0001

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Encountering the Dance

Encountering the Dance

(p.1) 1 Encountering the Dance
A Guru's Journey

Sarah Morelli

University of Illinois Press

This chapter introduces readers to North Indian classical kathak dance as developed and transmitted by Pandit Chitresh Das. After grounding readers in basic concepts relevant to kathak and the related Hindustani music system, the chapter provides an overview of Pandit Das’s career, based in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area. In his 1990 choreographic work, Impressions of California Goldrush, the gold rush symbolized his own westward journey, and explored themes of relocation and adaptation central both to Pandit Das’s immigrant experiences and kathak’s broader history. The chapter concludes with a reflexive account of the author’s involvement with this dance community as a student, unofficial disciple, ethnographer, and musician.

Keywords:   kathak dance, Hindustani music, California, San Francisco, Bay Area, relocation, adaptation, immigrant experiences, reflexive, dance culture, ethnographer

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