Indian Kathak Dance
About the Artist
Dr. Shweta Saraswat is a Los Angeles-based Kathak dancer, teacher, and scholar. She is a lifelong disciple of Guru Rachana Upadhyay, who is the founder and director of the Kathak Kala Academy and Indian Performing Art Center in the San Fernando Valley. Shweta holds a Ph.D. in Culture and Performance from the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the University of California, Los
Angeles, where her research focused on the relationship between Kathak dance and diasporic identity in London and Los Angeles. Shweta teaches Kathak dance in West Los Angeles through the Kathak Kala Academy.
Shweta has presented both dance work and academic work at UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, Madison Square Garden (performing with Guru Birju Maharaj ji’s troupe), Academia Sinica in Taipei, the University of London, the Getty Museum, the Dance Studies Association annual conference, and Cal Arts. On the academic side, Shweta has led seminars and studio classes touching on techniques of movement analysis,
rasa theory and abhinaya improvisation, classical dance history in Bollywood, the historical development of the sacred and the secular in Kathak dance, Bollywood bricolage as post-colonial resistance, and the tension between flexibility and fixity in both Kathak dance technique and in formulations of Indian national identity. Shweta is also a full-time cultural worker—she currently serves as Media and Development Manager for the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, a statewide arts nonprofit serving the folk and traditional arts field of California. Shweta has served on grant panels for the California Arts Council, and recently published an essay on British-Bangladeshi artist Akram Khan for the 2nd edition of “50 Contemporary Choreographers” by Routledge.
Indian Kathak Dance
Artistic consulting, Classes, Group instruction, Lectures / Lecture-demonstrations, Performances, Private instruction, Workshops
In-person services, Online/remote services