(PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ) -- West Windsor Arts is hosting a special solo dance performance by Shivani Badgi, an Indian American dancer, teacher and choreographer, on Saturday, October 14, 2023, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Badgi will perform Nritya Mehfil, a traditional Kathak dance that originated in northern India hundreds of years ago. Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word "katha," which means story. During a Kathak performance, the dancer becomes a storyteller through graceful, expressive movements.
“Shivani will transport you to an Indian country-style Mehfil,” says Aylin Green, executive director of West Windsor Arts. “She will blend dance with music, art and history for a very special evening.”
When performed in the United States today, Kathak is often a part of a larger show, rather than the entire show, explains Shivani, who grew up in West Windsor and is the artistic director and owner of The Gurukul Performing Arts, a performing arts school with branches in Plainsboro, N.J. and New York City. Traditionally, Kathak is performed in intimate settings that allow the dancer to talk directly to the audience throughout the performance. “I am excited to present this kind of immersive, evening-length solo show to my community,” Shivani says. “I wanted to bring the whole ambiance—what you would get if you went to a show in India 200 years ago. It will be a treat for all of the senses. You will smell the sandalwood and taste the tea. I will also be explaining to my audience what I am doing, and what to look for in the next portion of the dance.”
Shivani, whose mother is also a Kathak practitioner, has been performing since she was five years old. In addition to running the school, she performs in and around New York City at festivals and cultural events, as well as solo shows.
“This performance is a great opportunity to give back to the community I love,” she says.
Tickets are $35 for West Windsor Arts members and $40 for non-members. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
The West Windsor Arts Council (952 Alexander Road, Princeton Junction) offers art and cultural events, workshops, and classes for all ages and in all disciplines at the West Windsor Arts Center and in the community.