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Chandalika – The Untouchable Maiden

Chandalika is an examination of the marginalized women, “untouchables,” idealists and dreamers found throughout history in any society. It is a story of discrimination, a story of intense spiritual conflict, a story of self-confidence and self-respect, a story of love and salvation, and a story of selfishness and self- realization. 

Based on a century-old original story from Buddhist literature, the drama unveils the portrait of a young woman, Prakriti, who is condemned by birth as an outcast, only to discover her separate and independent identity as a woman through the kind eyes of a Buddhist monk. The young woman’s mother, Maya, is a powerful and proud woman, empowered by her knowledge of witchcraft. To Maya, her daughter’s idealism and rebellion are romantic dreams, deeply enmeshed in her awakening sexuality and her infatuation for a Buddhist monk, Ananda. Indeed, Prakriti confuses her romantic longings with her search for recognition and acceptance in society.

Chandalika originally premiered at the Southern Theatre in 2002 and was revived on May 5 – 8, 2011 at the Ritz Theater.

Artistic Director’s Note (2011):

Welcome to Katha Dance Theatre’s presentation of Tagore Festival, in celebration of Rabindranath Tagore on the 150th anniversary of his birth (May 7), Katha Dance Theatre (KDT) is partnering with three local organizations to present Tagore Festival this spring. Today in partnership with the Ritz Theater, KDT presents a double bill: Rabindranath Tagore – A Timeless Mind and Chandalika – the Untouchable Maiden. 

Tagore’s contribution in creating India’s first ‘modern dance’ known as Rabindra Nritya is widely recognized. Inspired by the classical dance styles of India, mainly Manipuri, Kathakali and Kathak, and local folk dancing, he introduced dance as part of the curriculum at Viswa Bharati University that he founded at Shantiniketan in West Bengal. Believing in Tagore’s idealism that everyone needs an opportunity to dance, here I have initiated seven new dancers in this engagement including Katha Dance apprentices and students. My objective is to open the doors for exploration of all that KDT has to offer culturally and artistically. Hope this becomes a learning tool as we celebrate the achievements of these dancers. With this celebration, I strongly hope that you are able to experience the depth of the work of Rabindranath Tagore as this performance brings to the Twin Cities Tagore’s universal message of love, harmony and beauty among all peoples. Thank you for your support of Katha Dance Theatre. Enjoy the show.


Fort the 2011 production

Artistic Personnel

Rita Mustaphi and Asha Sharma

Script and translation

Rabindranath Tagore

Author and Composer

Rita Mustaphi

Choreographer and Director

Rita Mustaphi and Asha Sharma

Script and translation

Music (recorded in Kolkata, India)

Debashis Sarkar


Rajashree Bhattyacharjya


Bhaswati Mukherjee


Robin Mukherjee


Tarit Bhattyacharjya

Yogurt Vendor

Dakshini Music School

Group Songs

Voiceover actors

Pooja Khanna

Prakriti, the Maiden

Rita Mustaphi

Maya, the mother

Derek Phillips

Ananda, the Monk

Bonnie Jean MacKay and Pooja Khanna

Village Girls

Donald LaCourse

Yogurt and Bangle Vendors

Performing artists

Sarika Haris

Prakriti, the Maiden

Rita Mustaphi

Maya, the mother

Derek Phillips

Ananda, the Monk

Reshma Mangra, Sonali Garg, Simmi Arora, Puneeta Arora, Mikylah MacKay and Nivedita Sahni

The Village Girls

John Munger

Yogurt and Bangle Vendors

Asha Sharma, Priya Jain, Vidya Rajaram, Sonali Garg and Nivedita Sahni

Energy Spirits

Reshma Mangra, Simmi Arora, Puneeta Arora and Mikylah MacKay

The Wind Spirits

Asha Sharma, Priya Jain, Vidya Rajaram, Sonali Garg, Nivedita Sahni, Reshma Mangra and Puneeta Arora


Crew/Admin/Production Personnel

Owen Henry

KDT Coordinator, Sound Operator, Additional Sound Design

Rita Mustaphi

Costume Design

Mike Grogan

Lighting Design

Rich Wilson and Doug Livesay

Set Design and Construction

Keegan Fraley

Additional Sound Design

Erik Saulitis and Vidyotham Reddi


Jim Peitzman


Connie Shaver LLC

Marketing Communications


This activity is made possible, in part, by funds provided by the McKnight Foundation and Katha Dance Theatre’s community connections. This event is co-sponsored by the Bengali Association of Minnesota and the India Association of Minnesota.