Monica Luhar for NBC News Asian America – Jan. 6, 2015
Pandit Chitresh Das, arguably one of the most influential Indian classical artists in the world, passed away January 4th at the age of 70, according to the director of Das’ dance school, who said his death was due to “acute aortic dissection.”
Das was a world-renowned Kathak dancer — a centuries-old dance form that translates to “the art of storytelling” — as well as a choreographer and instructor who elevated the classical Indian art form in the U.S. and around the world.
In 1980, he founded the Chitresh Das Dance Company & Chhandam School of Kathak in San Francisco, currently recognized as the largest Indian classical dance school in North America. According to the dance company, 700 students are enrolled worldwide at Das’ schools across California, and in Boston, Mumbai, and Kolkata.
“His contribution to Kathak, to dance, to art, to India, to community, to humanity, and to life stretch across the globe and beyond,” said school director Rachna Nivas in a statement. “In his words, ‘Life and death are the only reality. You come alone, you go alone. Only thing to do in between is practice and do whatever you do with love.'”
- Chhandam School of Kathak Perform at Multi-National Festival April 13 (NBC Bay Area)
- Chitresh Das, influential Kathak dancer and educator, dies (SF Gate)
First published January 6th 2015, 4:21 am