News with a Twist

Indian Dance Meets Jazz in New Orleans

This weekend at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, you can check out traditional Indian dance.  But earlier this week, a famous Indian dancer gave lessons to seniors.  Not seniors in high school, but senior citizens!  News With A Twist reporter, Deepak Saini, who is of Indian descent himself, found that you’re never too old to learn a new step.

The famous feet sleeping that floor belong to Pandit Chitresh Das.  He’s one of the most legendary Indian classical dances in the world!  At 68-years-old, he’s still got it and shows age isn’t anything but a number.

Irethea Gilyard says, “I’m only 75-years-old, 75-years-young actually.”

Pandit Das and his principal dancer, Rachna Nivas are teaching senior citizens the art of an ancient Indian dance.  The word “Kathak” means “story.”  Every movement has a meaning and it looks like the seniors are getting it down.

Reporter: “Do you have 2 left feet?”

Senior Grace Vice, “I probably have three left feet.”

Pandit Das has toured all over the world, amazing people with his artistry.  Now he’s collaborating with Emmy-Award winning tap dancer, Jason Samuels Smith, to give Kathak an East-Meets-West twist.

Principal Dancer Rachna Nivas says, “Even though he’s this huge artist, world renowned, he rolls up his sleeves, goes into the community and believes everybody should have access to it.”

Experiencing a taste of India in New Orleans is absolutely beautiful.”

You can see Pandit Das and Tap Star Jason Samuels Smith live this weekend.  They’re performing at the Freda Lupin Memorial Hall at NOCCA at 8pm Friday and Saturday nights and 2pm Sunday afternoon.  Tickets are $50.  Call (504) 522-0996 for tickets.

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