ST. PAUL – Katha Dance Theatre, an organization devoted to creating innovative performances of the classical Kathak dance with emphasis on access, community and audience development, is bringing a unique, cross-cultural collaboration to the Twin Cities. "Naari – The Woman" combines elegant Kathak Indian dance, the vibrant Spanish Flamenco, and classic American Tap on a unified theme of celebrating the diversity, struggles and wonder of the Woman.

The show will run from October 21-23 at the O’Shaughnessy at the College of St. Catherine, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, and is part of this theatre’s annual Women of Substance Series. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. Tickets are $24 for adults and $15 for students, with a $1 restoration fee added to all tickets. For tickets, visit www.theoshaughnessy.com. Ordering by phone through The O’Shaughnessy at (651) 690-6700 is an extra $5.

Rita Mustaphi, the award-winning performer and director of the Katha Dance Theatre is excited about bringing this collaboration to the Twin Cities.

"This project is about honoring the Naari or the divine feminine, across different cultures," Mustaphi said. "Throughout time, the woman has experienced great heartache and struggle but also triumph. We have witnessed this not only in the Indian subcontinent but also in the United States, in Europe and around the world. We will showcase the life of the Woman with rousing songs, intricate rhythm works and heart-wrenching poems. This promises to be an unconventional and moving performance."

Kathak is about the art of storytelling through dance and movement. Originated in North India, Kathak remains popular even today, with over 100 students in the Twin Cities area. Flamenco, a mixture of dance, cante and guitar, arose out of the Gypsy and Andalusian cultures of southern Spain. Tap dance originated during the time of African slavery in America. Slaves were prohibited from using drums so instead they transferred their rhythm to their feet by tapping out complex passages. For the first time, all three dance forms will perform together to bring visual movement to the Woman.

For more information please visit www.kathadance.org or call (763) 533-0756.

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