Bharatnatyam & Kathak Dance Recital by Students of Kusum Sharma’s Shri Natraj School of Dance

Photos: Naren Narwani

Photos: Naren Narwani

HOUSTON: On Sunday May 13, two of India’s most popular classical dance forms — Bharatanatyam and Kathak — took center stage at University of Houston as students of Kusum Sharma’s Shri Natraj School of Dance presented a captivating afternoon of annual dance recital. The program was conceived and choreographed by school’s artistic director Kusum Sharma with the help of Shri Natraj volunteers and lead teachers Vishaka Kaushik, Deepa Kheskhani, Padma Ramchandani, Aparna Krishnan & Tanya Sharma. The students of Shri Natraj School of Dance performed several dance forms including Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Bollywood. The students varied in age from 4 years old to 40 years old. The audience was filled with friends and family as they watched the students perform.

The show started at 3 pm with a sensitive portrayal of a tribute to Mother’s day by different student segment performing on various “Mom” themed Bollywood songs. The talented dancers looked fabulous in their pink, blue and yellow costumes and they blew the audience away with their talent and heartwarming display of their appreciation to Mom.


Their performances touched the heart of all the mothers in the audiences. Next in the lineup was a classical Bharatnatyam dance on Shlokas & Alarippu, performed by beginner and intermediate girls and boys. Bharatanatyam is one of the most popular and widely practiced classical dance styles of India, with sculptural evidence dating back nearly 3000 years. Following this dance was Kathak performance of first year students who showcased their talents and what they had learned in the past year. Kathak is a North Indian classical dance form.

The term is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word Katha which means story. All the students were wearing traditional attire, which looked stunning. The 2nd year students then performed their piece on Bol bant & Tihai and displayed their footwork with precision leaving the audience wanting more. The performance was then followed by a kathak performance by the 3rd year students on Thaat , Aamad, & Tukre. The last Kathak performance was from senior 4th year student on Thaat , Aamad, Tukre, Tihai & Chalan.


All Kathak students wore dazzling beautiful colored Kathak costumes with Ghungroos (foot bells). Kathak performances were accompanied by Videsh on tabla, Ram Sharma on Harmonium and enchanting vocal by Kusum Sharma & Jasoda Sharma. The next performance was performed by the dance master Kusum Sharma herself who danced on popular Bollywood folk dance Ghoomar delicately balancing the pot on head and delicate footwork which was greeted by thunderous applause by the audience.

The chief guest of the shows Ram Sharma, Virender Bansal & Kamla Goswami were then invited to handover the trophies to all the students of the school for successfully completing the school year. Kusum Sharma paid tribute to legendary artist Sridevi by performing on  a piece from Bollywood movie Chandini titled “Dancing in the moonlight” in Bharatnatyam style. Last but not the least the students of Shri Natraj School of Dance performed to a Bollywood medley.

The medley contained various songs strung together and performed by different classes of students. Kamlesh Narwani emceed the show and kept the audience entertained throughout the 90-minute performance. No programs can be successful without the tireless volunteers. Special thanks to Padma Ramchandani, Rashmi Narwani , Deepa Kheskhani, Tanya Rashi Sharma , Gautam Narwani , Virendar, Neena & Meena Bansal, Naren Narwani , Vinod Ramchandani , Aashi Sharma , Mythili Ramchandani, Santoshi, Brij & Janaki Pathak, Radhika Iyer for making the recital a success and memorable program for everyone.

Kusum Sharma is the artistic director of Shri Natraj School of Dance. Shri Natraj School has 6 locations all over Houston, more details on the classes and location is available at Kusum is also director of the annual Ramleela that takes place in Houston in conjunction with the non-profit Kalakriti Performing Arts. This year Ramleela is scheduled for Saturday, October 7, at VPSS Haveli. More details are available at