Looking out for the true meaning of love
A superlative performer and an artist of great calibre, Astha, has performed in innumerable international festivals
Raised in the United States, Astha Dixit – an engineer by profession - always knew that she was meant to dance. So, to continue her Kathak training, Dixit quit a lucrative career and chose to return back to India.
"As a child, I learned the basics of Kathak in Los Angeles. But with increasing responsibilities and busy schedule, It was hard to pursue my passion. I took admission in engineering and went on to work in the same field for two consecutive years. But realizing that I was born to be a dancer, I moved to India and started my training with guru Harish Gangani and Malti Shyam," stated Astha.
A superlative performer and an artist of great calibre, Astha has performed in many top festivals including the ones held in Muscat, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and also at the world famous Baalbeck International festival in Lebanon. She has been a regular performer at Jahan-e-Khusrau every year for Muzaffar Ali.
Thrilled to represent India on the international stage, Astha feels Kathak as a dance form still needs a lot of exposure.
"There is a lot that we need to do to popularize this dance form. It's sad that people still are unaware of Kathak in various parts of the world. I remember, when I performed in Baalbeck, it was the first time that people over there were introduced to Kathak. For the first time, they heard the sound of ghunghroos which left them mesmerized," mentioned Astha who gets her inspiration from within.
It is her delicate art of abhinaya and natural expression on Sufi Kalaams that touch people's heart. One such performance, where she unraveled the mysteries of love, was held in Kamani auditorium, New Delhi, on September 7.
Titled 'In search of love', the Sufi musical was based on her journey and discoveries as a dancer, as well as her intense work on Sufi poetries. Soothing music synced with beautiful expressions and graceful gestures, the performance as a whole was a treat to watch.
The main direction and choreography was by Astha Dixit whereas contemporary choreography was done by Shivam Chauhan. Music composers Ahsan Ali and Amaan Ali struck a melodious chord to make the production a complete masterpiece.
Explaining Kathak is a form of story telling, Astha said, "A dancer uses her body as a vehicle to tell stories. In fact, the word Kathak is derived from 'Katha' – meaning story. In the ancient days, the Kathakars were story tellers who used to go from village to village narrating stories in an artistic manner."