ABHIVYAKTI FINDING WAYS TO EXPRESS OURSELF THROUGH KATHAK DANCE led by Annu Gupta
“In everything you do, simply work at developing love and compassion until they have become a
fundamental part of you.” – Patrul Rinpoche
ABOUT KATHAK DANCE FORM:
Kathak Dance is one of the most ancient form of Indian Classical Performing Art. It is said to have
originated in the temples of North India. Known as the dance of storytellers, Kathak comes from the word
‘Kathakaar’- the village minstrel who used subtle gestures and movements to enhance the dramatic
element of the narrative. One of the essential feature of the dance form is to balance one’s personal
emotions and fully embody the characters in a manner of oneness.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:
The primary objective of the 7 day long intensive workshop is to collectively create conditions for each
one of us to be able to express our hearts and acknowledge the feelings and emotions that may arise in the
The theme that has been chosen for the workshop this time is: nurturing compassion in our heart
through this beautiful dance form. The participants shall also be introduced to the basics as well as the
technical aspects of the dance form such as the footwork, hand movements, mudras, spins — learning
about all these intricacies of the dance form shall help us connect and cultivate awareness at each step.
For the same purpose, a choreography will also be prepared together on Bodhisattva Shantideva’s
aspiration prayer. The prayer has been translated into Hindi and is available as Bodhi Bhajan, a project by
Sidhartha’s Intent (https://soundcloud.com/sanghamitra-vijaya/the-grand-aspiration-shantidevs-aspirationverses?in=sanghamitra-vijaya/sets/songs-based-on-shantidevs). This shall give us an opportunity to go
deeper into the words of great compassion by Bodhisattva Shantideva by listening to the sound of these
words. Please note that the workshop is not about giving any teachings or commentary on the prayer
ABOUT THE THEME FOR THE WORKSHOP: NURTURING COMPASSION IN OUR HEART
This story by Patrul Rinpoche was the inspiration behind this theme:
Think of a mother with no arms, whose child is being swept away by a river. How unbearable the anguish
of such a mother would be. Her love for her child is so intense, but as she cannot use her arms she cannot
catch hold of him.
“What can I do now? What can I do?” She asks herself. Her only thought is to find some means of saving
him. Her heart breaking, she runs along after him, weeping.
In exactly the same way, all beings of the three worlds are being carried away by the river of suffering to
drown in the ocean of Samsara. However unbearable the compassion we feel, we have no means of saving
them from their suffering. “What can I do now?”
ABOUT THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE WORKSHOP:
We will be having a variety of sessions in the workshop such as:
• Guided Meditation: to bring our Mind into the present moment
• Observing Silence: to connect to our deeper self and just to be
• Light Exercises: to bring our attention towards different parts of our body
• Kathak Sessions: as a medium to explore, express and heal
• Group Activities: to expand our horizons while learning from each other’s experiences
• Contemplation: to relate our learnings with life
• Sharing/Reflection Circles: to go deeper within while listening to others
• Choreography on Bodhisattva Shantideva’s Aspiration Prayer: to receive reminders and inspiration
while expanding our hearts for all beings
• Stage Performance: to share our experiences with the larger group
OUR DAILY SCHEDULE:
9.30am – 9.45am : Guided Meditation/Observing Silence
9.45am – 10am : Exercises
10am – 11am : Session 1
11am – 11.15am : Break
11.15am – 12pm : Session 2
12pm – 3pm : Lunch & Break
3pm – 5pm : Session 3
(Session 1, 2 and 3 are the main sessions which includes Kathak Practice, Group Activities, Reflection,
Contemplation, Singing and Preparing the choreography.)
A FEW GENERAL GUIDELINES:
• Minimum age to join is 16 years
• All sessions are mandatory to join.
• No prior training or experience in classical dance is needed to join the workshop.
• The workshop is not any gender specific, anyone who wishes to explore the dance form is
welcome to join.
ABOUT THE FACILITATOR:
Annu Gupta is an avid Kathak Practitioner, Performer and a Teacher based out of New Delhi who have
learned and taught this art form for last 14 years now. She began her journey of learning Kathak
professionally under the guidance of her guru Smt. Monisa Nayak and have also performed at the most
reputed platforms across the country, including the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.
After moving away from a mainstream career in her field, she found satisfaction working with
underprivileged communities through an initiative called ‘Anubhuti’ in 2016 (https://youtube.com/
@kathakanubhuti5224). The aim was to inculcate essential life skills such as self-confidence, leadership,
team work and creativity among under-served children in remote rural/tribal communities and in urbanslums using Kathak Dance as a medium.
While her heart was yearning to find more to life, she met Buddhist Teachings in 2019 and since then she
has been deeply involved in understanding and practicing these profound teachings. Presently, she spends
her time blending Buddhist Teachings with this performing art. She also continues to teach Kathak in its
traditional form through online/ offline sessions and also travels to conduct Anubhuti workshops as and
when her heart calls for it.
More about Annu’s work
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@annukathak | Instagram: @annu.kathak