"What do I do if I have a compelling desire to communicate a story, the treatment of which may not fall within the broader parameters of Kathak?
Do I suppress that artistic instinct or try to evolve a vocabulary that would narrate the story in the best possible way?
My training in dance has only been in Kathak. I have only taught Kathak. The dance company consists of only kathak dancers and my solos and group choreographies have mainly been in Kathak.
However, there have been many instances where the story that I wanted to narrate, could not be best communicated through the Kathak vocabulary…and hence started my quest. I have called this movement language “Contemporary Dance Based on Kathak”.
…and how did this evolve? To me, "contemporary dance based on Kathak" is not by deconstructing the form as I am constructing the classical work daily, every moment.
It is not by adding to the form. I don’t want to graft an apple tree on a mango tree. So it is not addition or fusion.
To me, it is about absorption. To plant a seed of Kathak and to water it with contemporary sensibilities, with different inspirations, with contemporary movement possibilities so that the tree that grows out from that seed has the roots firmly in Kathak yet the tree that emerges is quite different from a Kathak tree.
"kathak is not a tether that holds me back, but a deep root from which I draw the strength to grow, to explore new forms, and use the past to evolve a language for the future."
“Here is an Indian Dance Company sailing out confidently on the seas of modernity… In its intimacy (Mangaldas’ solo),we could almost see the tiny constituent particles of each moment catch, twinkling in the beams of sunlight as Mangaldas floated, whirled and wrapped herself in a single, honeyed instant.” Pulse Magazine, Alchemy Festival, London, 2015
“Aditi and her company are part of an exciting new wave of Kathak dance artists who are invigorating this classical art form with imaginative and intelligent modern expressions. I have a lot of respect for her. She is offering us new ways to experience Kathak. That’s good for us and the advancement of the art form.” Farooq Chaudhury, Producer, Akram Khan Company and English National Ballet
“Stories told by bare feet… Breathless footwork, rapid spinning, exotic poses and haunting tunes.....The audience was simply spellbound by the performance of the Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company” Days of India in Germany, Karlsruhe, 2013