India Jazz Suites Comes to Utah

t was my great privilege to watch Pandit Chitresh Das and Jason Smuels in concert at the Ogden Peery Egyptian Theatre. Pandit Das is a master and virtuosic performer of the Indian classical dance form – Kathak. His concepts of “innovation within tradition” explored the boundaries of Kathak technique and performance, creating a compelling and mind-blowing dance performance which was inventive yet deeply rooted in the Kathak tradition.

“With his amazing performance, Pandit Das stole the show from the moment of his appearance. His dance movements mesmerized the crowd of 800+.

Samuels Smith and Pandit Das’s dynamic collaboration for the India Jazz Suites brought out the best of the duo. Jason an outstanding dancer, choreographer, actor, instructor and host inspired the audience with his foot tapping dance. It was truly the best of both worlds and a testimony to the universal language of music.

At the after party, I got a chance to meet the prodigy in person and chat for a brief moment. At the age of 62, this slim and trim dancer with his dignified posture, style of presentation, incessant vigor and graceful conversation reiterated his position as the world-famous brilliant kathak master from India.

We had the company of three beautiful dancers from the Chhandam School of Kathak dance, founded and directed by Pandit Chitresh Das. The Chhandam school of Kathak is the largest Indian classical dance institution in North America and has been in existence for the past thirty years.

Also at the party was Jazzman Steve Wiliams of KUER radio station. He was a pretty cool guy!

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