Welcome to Cloud Kathak

With this blog I bring my love of dance — and Kathak in particular — to the conversation in the cloud. I hope this floating conversation will lure people to the practice, here on earth.

Kathak presents us with a wonderful paradox. The feet of the Kathak dancer are firmly planted in the earth forming a deep connection between the earth, the dancer and the bells. And yet the form itself has traveled far and wide, mixing and blending with traditions all over the globe.

It is no surprise that I begin the next phase of my journey with Kathak dance inspired by poetry and music along the Silk Road. This ancient trade route from Europe, through Central Asia and India to China was a vast travel network along which people shared music, dance, and literature, as well as religious and philosophical thought. Adventuring artists travelled from Turkey to India. Wandering Sufi mystics hitched a camel ride with the spice caravans and moved with the winds. All of them carried stories, poetry and songs which united people separated by thousands of miles into shared practices of art and devotion.

I have always been intrigued by how far Kathak has traveled. And now I am exploring the poetry of Sufi mystics, which had a profound influence on the courtly arts in India. This exploration has resulted in a beautiful collaboration entitled SILK ROAD MELODY.

Who are the poets and Sufis that traveled these paths, their mystic devotion rising and falling, undulating with the sand dunes and reaching far-flung places? Their influence covers a time span of over a thousand years and more than a thousand miles. Let us follow the Silk route and discover their mystic journey.