Hasita Oza

One of the most prominent Kathak dancers of today, Hasita Oza fuses rhythmic, musical and dramatic elements to create complex performances of large movement and small gestures. As a storyteller, Ms. Oza uses ancient choreography and pantomime to bring to life the dance traditions of India. The Kathak school of dance traces its origins to North India and the concept of the “Katha”, a story illustrated with an expressive gesture.

Hasita, an accomplished dancer, has been performing and teaching in the United States for over 25 years. She has trained rigorously with Guru Rohini Bhate of Pune, India. After coming to the States, Hasita also studied with Pandit Birju Maharaj. Hasita holds a masters degree in Arts and Science. She has performed widely in the US and India in numerous dance festivals, universities and, museums. She has done collaborative work with other Indian traditional dances like Bharatnatyam, and Kuchipudi, as well as Western Dances like Tap and Modern dance. She has worked as a consultant providing seminars on multicultural awareness and education for arts teachers and students throughout the United States. As a Visiting and Touring Artist through the North Carolina Arts Council she has traveled extensively through North Carolina school systems, universities, museums, libraries and dance studios to bring the Kathak dance form to the forefront of mainstream of American culture.

Awards and Distinctions

  • Project Grant: United Arts Council, Raleigh, NC, USA   2006,2003

  • Choreographer Fellowship NC Arts Council and National   Endowment of the Arts, USA 1994

  • Visiting Artist, NC Arts Council, USA – 1992-96

  • Emerging Artist Grant, Arts Commission, City of Raleigh,   USA 1991

  • Title “Sringar Mani” from Sur Singar Samsad, Bombay,   India. 1979

  • National Prize “Preet Kaur Saundhi” for Nritya Visharad.   Punjab, India. 1979

  • Examiner for Gandharva Mahavidyalaya exams Pune, 2015

  • Examiner Bharti Vidyapeeth, 2016.

Publications & Lectures

  • Lecture on Anatomy and Kinesiology of Kathak

    Nrityahbharati Dance Academy Pune, India, 14th Novemberber, 2015.

    Rujuta Soman Cultural Dance Academy, Pune, India, December 2, 2015.

  • Kathak Workshops:

    Cite University of Paris, November, 23 2015.

    Pallavi Vyas Academy, Rajkot, December 23rd 2015

Choreography

  • Radha and her veil: A dance drama is a flashback on Radha’s (Krishna’s soul mate) past. It is revealed when Rukmini (Krishna’s queen) asks her a simple question, ” Why this torn, faded veil you are wearing is important”? One hour long dance drama portrays Radha’s intense and deep love towards Krishna.
  • Krishna-Leela: A dance drama is a journey of Krishna’s life, from his childhood till he leaves his hometown Gokul. The beautiful dance pieces are woven into the connecting story line of narration. The audience experiences the spectrum of human emotions during one and half hours of show.
  • Vasavdatta: A dance piece in a Nobel prize winning author Rabindranath Tagore’s story of a prostitute who followed a saint and saves mankind.
  • Vyas-Jaiminee: Dance choreography in a musical drama based on a story of saint Vyas and Jaiminee..
  • Dhun: Innocent milkmaids are dancing till they are faced with Krishna who breaks their clay pots.
  • Fusion: A fusion of traditional percussion music and non traditional melody is adorned by movements and footwork from the world of dance.
  • Raag Trital: A pure dance pieces set to cycle of 16 beats emphasizing hand movements, footwork, spins into various design patterns created by dancers.
  • Udgam: A group dance based on creation of “NatyaVeda” as described in “Abhinay Darpan” by taking the essential elements from four existing Vedas.
  • Ghazal & Tarana: A dance choreographed to the music set and sung by Pandit Birju Maharaj.
  • Gajanana Shree Ganaraya: A group choreography based on a devotional song on Shree Ganesh, sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
  • Sargam: A group choreography set to a melodious piece of Sargam sung by Pandita Rohini Bhate.
  • Cosmic Mantra: A Sanskrit Mantra – an Invocation to Cosmic elements essential for life’s existence is presented in contemporary mode by group of dancers.
  • Sringhar: It is an emotion of love expressed with contemporary treatment. Music by Kersh Kale and Anoushka Shankar.
  • Qawwali: A group choreography on the love and spiritual poem by Amir Khusaru.
  • Spanda: A 30 minutes group dance production based on the concept Spanda – a sacred tremor within us – a universal consciousness. The concept was developed through various dance and music pieces from Eastern and Western styles. The production was jointly created under Spanda dance by Hasita and Ramya.