Chhandika is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the tradition of north Indian classical dance kathak. Founded by Gretchen Hayden, a senior disciple of world renowned Kathak maestro Pandit Chitresh Das, Chhandika provides a high standard of education in kathak dance, presents high caliber, innovative performances, cultivates the next generation of artists, and provides extensive community outreach and engagement. Chhandika currently has 2 senior performing artists along with an adult ensemble of next generation dancers and a pre-professional Youth Ensemble.
Anjali Nath is one of the most dynamic artists of a new generation of kathak soloists. Known for her swift chakkars (spins), crisp footwork and delicate abhinaya, Anjali's solo performances are rooted deeply in the kathak tradition, dazzling to watch, and deeply moving. Anjali is a disciple of renowned kathak maestro, the late Pandit Chitresh Das, and has been dancing with the Chitresh Das Dance Company (CDDC) since 2003. Anjali has toured extensively with the company throughout the US and India at prestigious venues and cities such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Roy and Edna Disney Cal/Arts Theater in Los Angeles, Kohler Arts Center, National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai, and several International Kathak Festivals. In addition to solo performances, Anjali has performed in the critically acclaimed CDDC performances including Shiva, Shabd, and Sita Haran, where she played the lead as Sita. Anjali was introduced to the rich and vast world of Kathak dance by Gretchen Hayden, senior disciple of Pandit Das and Artistic Director of Chhandika. Anjali is now a senior artist and instructor at Chhandika, a Boston-area nonprofit dedicated to promoting and teaching kathak. Anjali is also teaching artist for the Young Audience of Massachusetts, presenting lecture demonstrations and workshops at schools across Massachusetts.
Shefali Jain is an emerging force in the field of kathak. She has trained for over 15 years with Gretchen Hayden and the world renowned kathak maestro, Pandit Chitresh Das. Shefali has performed extensively as a soloist and as an apprentice of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, performing in its acclaimed productions of Sita Haran and Shiva. In 2016, Shefali co-founded the Leela Dance Collective and has performed with the collective in California Gharana (Aratani World Series, Los Angeles) and Son of the Wind (Green Music Center, San Francisco), in which she played the lead role of Sugreev. In addition to performing, Shefali is also committed to passing on the rich tradition of kathak to the next generations. She has taught kathak classes at Yale University and is now teaching at the Chhandika Institute of Kathak Dance as a senior instructor and founder and co-director of the Chhandika Youth Ensemble.