ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CHITRESH DAS INSTITUTE
Charlotte Moraga began her study of kathak with Pandit Chitresh Das in 1992 and joined the Chitresh Das Dance Company (CDDC) in 1996. She has been a principal dancer and solo artist in his award-winning works, Pancha Jati, East as Center, Darbar, Subali Sugriwa, Sampurnam, India Jazz Progressions, Sita Haran, Yatra and Shiva. She performed her first kathak solo in 2002.
In December 2018, Charlotte received the “Anugami” award in her Guru’s home town of Kolkata, India, for her dedication to her Guru, Pandit Chitresh Das, and for carrying on his legacy.
Charlotte has performed internationally, most recently being featured in Kolkata, India at the Chowdhury Festival, where leading practitioners of Indian classical music and dance are featured. Some of other notable performances include the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, Bali, the American Dance Festival and Shaniwarwada Festival in Pune, India. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote of her solo performance at international kathak festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts: “Thursday night's triumph belonged to Charlotte Moraga, as fast and focused as an arrow, delighting the crowd with double turns that stopped on a dime. She has technical virtuosity, but more importantly she has intention, and an intelligence that shapes every step.” In 2007 Charlotte received the Shenson Performing Arts Fellowship and toured as a soloist throughout South India and she co-created, Sangam a collaboration with tap dancer, Chloe Arnold in Pandit Das' India Jazz Progressions. She created a new work in residence with CounterPULSE's Performing Diaspora, on the 12th century mystic poem, Conference of the Birds, collaborating with composer and musician Prasant Radhakrishnan. She performed an excerpt of this work at the 2013 Ethnic Dance Festival and at San Francisco Trolley Dances in 2016. Her choreography to Sare Nau premiered at the 40th Anniversary of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival at the S.F. Opera House in 2018 and her choreography Aranya Devi will premiere at the Ethnic Dance Festival at Zellerbach Hall in July 2019. Charlotte has choreographed multiple pieces for the Chitresh Das Youth Company and Pandit Das has included some of her choreography in his seminal works: Pancha Jati, Shabd, Sita Haran and others. Her articles on kathak have been published in Dance Spirit, Dance USA ejournal, In Dance magazine, among others.
More Critical Acclaim for Charlotte Moraga
“Of the 16 dancers who participated in Saturday’s performance, Moraga herself claimed the most attention. Her Shiva, seen only in silhouette behind a screen that suggested the Earth seen from a interstellar location, still mesmerized with its twisting grandeur. Here, the appeal was universal.” Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle, February 29, 2016 review of Shiva at Cal Performance’s Zellerbach Hall
Her 2014 performance in Yatra at the Palace of Fine Arts was described by Dance Critic Rita Felciano in DanceViewTimes as, “…elevated to classical form by Charlotte Moraga's sense of perfection in the details and her extraordinary speed and precision in those pirouettes.”
Rita Felciano said of Moraga’s solo performance at ODC Theater in 2004: “…Yet as a performer she mesmerizes even more because her presentations are so infused with the excitement of discovery and the evident joy she experiences at the ever changing play between the musicians and the dancer. Rarely have I seen such technically complex, crystalline dancing performed with such abandon.” Dance View Times.