The Tale of a Choreographer, Her student, River and an endangered Heritage

Indu Mitha’s Qaseeda-i-Ilm of Jamal/ “An Ode to Wisdom and Beauty”


  • Feriyal Amal Aslam



Pakistani dance, Occluded herstories, Bharta-Natyam, Pluralism


Choreographing in Pakistan since the 50’s, the country’s senior most 90+ years young classical dance maestro Indu Mitha has made trailblazing contributions within the Kalakshtera Bharata Natyam using North Indian music, interesting and contemporary content, while also producing more tableau forms of dance.

In one of her recent solo pieces in the later style, titled “Qaseeda-i-Ilm of Jamal” or “An Ode to Wisdom and Beauty” Indu engages with symbolisms of a Hindu goddess of knowledge and Aesthetics_Saraswati and pays tribute to a forgotten dried up river of the same name. Indu Mitha allows the author, for whom and on whose body the dance is made, to bring in the forgotten river in her engagement with people’s histories of the land of present-day Pakistan and eventually facilitates her accessing of and embodying a pluralistic space of inter faith harmony which was occluded.