Tarana Digital Project

Video Series

Tarana Digital Project

Date: February 2023

Co-produced with Pratibha Arts, the Tarana Digital Project is a series of videos showcasing works by Bageshree Vaze that celebrate the spectrum of Kathak music and dance — from the rhythmic language to the facial expressions and lyrical movements. It is focused on engaging audiences with South Asian dance while equipping viewers with educational tools to further the awareness and appreciation of the Kathak tradition — one of the original forms of Indian classical dance influenced by the Mughal period.


Although Kathak’s Islamic origins have been diluted over the past century as prominent artists in India have connected it more with Hindu mythological storytelling, its Islamic influences are evident in its movement, vocabulary, music, lyrical content, and costuming.


The Story of Tarana


Join Amirali Alibhai, Head of Performing Arts at the Aga Khan Museum, as he sits down with Bageshree Vaze, Artistic Director of Pratibha Arts, to explore the inspiration behind the Tarana video series and the resilient and evolutionary story of Kathak.



Dhamaar for Kathak


An exploration of this majestic 14-beat rhythmic cycle, highlighting the crucial role of Tabla drum language in Kathak dance.





Often the culminating piece in a Kathak performance, the Tarana interweaves melody with staccato, high-speed rhythmic compositions that highlight footwork and chakkars, or spins, unique to the Kathak style.





This piece evokes emotional responses in both the performer and the audience by enacting the Navarasas, the nine emotions in the human experience, as identified in the Natya Shastra, a 2000-year-old treatise on South Asian classical dance.



Lucknow's Jewel


This piece brings to life the grandeur of the Lucknow courts, where classical dance and music were performed prior to 1858, before the British colonialists dismantled the system of royal court arts patronage in South Asia.



Kalashree Tarana


This Tarana highlights the interaction of graceful and dynamic movements and rhythms.



Jogkauns Tarana


This Tarana evokes a sombre, mystical quality in its composition and choreography and celebrates the Sufi and Islamic influences in Kathak dance.



Want to continue your exploration of this mesmerizing dance style? Read about Bageshree Vaze's journey with Kathak.


About Bageshree Vaze

Bageshree Vaze is an Indo-Canadian dance artist, musician and writer. She is Artistic Director of Pratibha Arts, an organization that enhances the cultural fabric of Ontario through dance and music productions that often have influences from South Asian cultures. Bageshree is an award-winning Kathak dance artist (winner of the 2010 K.M. Hunter Award in Dance) and as a vocalist she has 5 CDs/albums to her credit. In 2004 she was named an MTV India 'Ubbarta sitara' (rising star) and her work has been presented in major festivals around the world including the Canada Dance Festival. In 2022 Bageshree was the inaugural Dance Collection Danse Artist Researcher-in-Residence and was a co-recipient of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Sound Composition (Dance Division).


About Pratibha Arts
Pratibha Arts enhances and advances the cultural fabric of Ontario and Canada through the production, education, and performance of arts, often featuring influences from South Asian cultures, which are reflective of this significant demographic in Canada. Under the Artistic leadership of Bageshree Vaze, the organization’s vision is to promote artistic excellence, nurture future generations of artists in Ontario, and reflect the current 'faces' of Toronto and Canada. Inspired by ‘Pratibha,’ which means ‘creative intelligence’ in Sanskrit, Pratibha Arts’ activities enhance the collective artistic intelligence of Canadians but also explore new avenues and models for intelligently supporting creativity.


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