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Rediff.com  » News » Kathak school in US wins prestigious grant

Kathak school in US wins prestigious grant

November 15, 2005 10:38 IST

A California-based Kathak school on Monday got a $120,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to help support the spread of the Indian classical dance form.

Chhandam Chitresh Das Dance Company, headed by danseuse Chitresh Das, one of the world's leading dance companies and schools presenting performances and training in Kathak, received the grant as part the foundation's $5.96 million new grants for its Performing Arts Program.

The foundation authorised a total of $72.24 million in new grants to 198 organisations, including those working in the fields of education, environment and global development.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1966 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world.

The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, environment, global development, performing arts, philanthropy, population, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation has total assets of approximately $6.87 billion.

Pandit Das could not be reached immediately for comments, including how the school intends to spend the donation money.

Pandit Das has been recognised for his innovative, collaborative, and traditional works and has received numerous awards and grants from California Arts Council, California State University, Olympic Arts Festival, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, and Irvine Fellowship in dance.

In addition to his own school, Pandit Das is on the faculty of San Francisco State University where he initiated the first accredited Kathak course in the US and 2003 and was guest faculty at Stanford University.

Suman Guha Mozumder in New York