Japanese Woman Performs Traditional Indian Dance

Jiji Press
Atsuko Maeda performs Kathak traditional dance in New Delhi on Saturday.

NEW DELHI (Jiji Press) — A Japanese woman performed Kathak, one of the four major classical dances in India, at a dance and music event among foreigners held in New Delhi on Saturday.

Atsuko Maeda, 45, was invited to the event after being awarded the top prize in the Kathak division for the event. Kathak features rhythmic footwork, with small bells adorned around the ankles of dancers.

The event, the first of its kind, was held by an organization affiliated with the Indian government to promote Indian culture to foreigners and Indians living abroad.

Maeda performed in four Indian cities with not only fellow Kathak dancers but also dancers other than Kathak artists from countries including Malaysia and Hungary. Saturday’s performance was the last show in the latest event.

“I felt the energy of India,” Maeda said after the day’s show. “I could dance for a work created with the theme of ‘the world is one family’ with friends I met for the first time.”

Maeda, who was born in Kobe, began Kathak at the age of 6 after moving to Tokyo.

She teaches Kathak, which developed as a court dance in northern India, in Japan and is active both at home and abroad as a Kathak dancer. “What is great about Kathak is that dancers can express any kind of world view by creating a rhythm with just one footstep,” she said.