Storytellers Presents Kathak Dances from Students and World-renowned Artists


STAFFORD: Purists of Kathak understand that classical training in this art form is difficult to find in the Houston area. With her desire for authenticity, Ekta Popat has been traveling to California every few weeks to receive training from world-renowned Guru, Shambhavi Dandekar.
Ekta feels very fortunate to have this opportunity and she realizes that not many others do. Following the true meaning of Kathak, Ekta appropriately chose the name Storytellers School of Dance (Sugar Land) and began sharing her passion with the Houston community since August 2017.

Ekta has been a student of various forms of Indian classical dance since the age of 6. By day, Ekta works as a corporate affairs manager for a Houston based telehealth company, and in the evenings and weekends, she laces up her ghungroos to teach her students as young as 5.  In between all of this she fulfills her role as a dedicated mother to a 13 and 11-year-old.
Nritya Dhaara classical Kathak performance was held at the Old Stafford Civic Center on Friday, June 1.  It opened with a solo performance by Ekta, which depicted the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva in Taal Dhamaar (14-beat cycle).  Students of Storytellers then followed with performances of Hastaks and Tritaal compositions, which showed their mastery of the foundation that will guide their future training.

Ekta’s goal for her students was to have them share what they have learned with friends, family and the community.  In addition, it was also an opportunity for the students to witness the magic of world renowned Kathak artists, who make up the Nritya Dhaara team.
The artists included Pandita Maneesha Sathe, Shambhavi Dandekar, Tejaswani Sathe, and Sarveshwari Sathe.  This amazing team spans three generations and has traveled the globe together inspiring audiences with their flawless expression of Kathak. Their final pieces Tarana and Jugalbandi received a standing ovation from the audience.

“Seeing these incredible performances only excites me and inspires me beyond belief because there’s just so much to look forward to,” said Rownak Rahman.
“I was in awe the entire time watching truly an outstanding performance with complex foot work, chakkars and hand coordination,” said Sejal Shan. “We are really thankful to Storytellers School of Dance and proud to be part of it.”

“I have seen so many teachers teach more fusion dance, but no one else had the courage to provide the kids with pure and fundamentally best form of dance,”  said Sneha Sanghavi about the Storytellers School of Dance.