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Our People


KDT’s Executive Leadership

Rita Mustaphi Headshot

Rita Mustaphi

Rita Mitra Mustaphi is a native of Kolkata, India. Under her direction, Katha Dance Theatre is distinguished by its impeccable technique, its capacity to expand the Indian classical Kathak dance vocabulary and realize new works, and its collaborations across disciplines. From 1987 to 2005, while promoting traditional Kathak dance through various dance dramas, she became interested in cross-cultural exploration through collaborations that she continues to pursue today. In her 30+ years as a professional dancer, she has choreographed more than 50 new works that performed locally, nationally and internationally.

Read More about Rita Mustaphi

Kalyan Mustaphi

Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Katha Dance Theatre, Kaylan is the liaison between the company and the board. A native of India and one of the founding members of the company, Kalyan acts as the company’s financial director/producer. He works with the artists and board to carry out producing, presenting, and other special projects. He takes care of master schedule planning, staff development and hiring, financial management, and other administrative duties. Additionally, Kalyan records and edits all of KDT’s videography. He is very actively involved in the day-to-day operations and long-term well-being of the organization.

Dancers & Instructors


Company apprentices are high-achieving students who are hand selected by Rita Mustaphi. Chosen students have shown an impressive level of commitment and talent in the classroom. Apprentices perform with the company on an as-needed basis until they are chosen to join the company ranks.

Rohini Chatwani

Apprentice 2022-2023 1st Season

Rohini Chatwani began learning Kathak at KDT in 2014 and has since studied with masters like the late Pandit Birju Maharaj, Ms. Saswati Sen and Durga Arya-Krüger. She first appeared onstage with KDT’s company in the 2022 production of Black Candle.

Aaratrika Mondal

Apprentice 2022-2023 2nd Season

Aaratrika Mondal began learning Kathak at KDT in 2014 and has since studied with masters like Ms. Saswati Sen and Durga Arya-Krüger. In April of 2021, she won her age group in the Kathak solo performance category at the Bharathotsav International Virtual Dance Competition in Ottawa, Canada. Aaratrika recently appeared in KDT’s 2022 production of Black Candle.

Ishani Nandan

Apprentice 2022-2023 2nd Season

Ishani Nandan began her Kathak training under Mukta Sathe over a decade ago, and has since studied under masters like Pandit Birju Maharaj and Ms. Saswati Sen. Ishani recently appeared in KDT’s 2022 production of Black Candle in a featured role.

Karthika Nair

Apprentice 2022-2023 1st Season

Karthika Nair began studying Kathak at KDT in 2017 and has since learned under masters like Pandit Birju Maharaj, Saswati Sen, and Durga Arya-Krüger. This is her first season as a KDT apprentice.

Mahek Maheshwari

Apprentice 2022-2023 1st Season

Mahek Maheshwari began learning Kathak at KDT in 2014 and has since studied with masters like the late Pandit Birju Maharaj, and Ms. Saswati Sen. This is her first season as a KDT apprentice.

Sreedevi Vengalil

Apprentice 2022-2023 3rd Season

Sreedevi Vengalil studied Bharatnatyam for over 10 years and has performed and won awards at various platforms and competitions in the Middle East and in India. Always having been fascinated by Kathak, she began studying it in 2017 with KDT after moving to Minnesota. Since then, she has attended workshops with the late Pandit Birju Maharaj and Rajendra Gangani. This is her third season as a KDT apprentice.

Our Team

KDT’s administrative staff

Nina Hagen

General Manager

Nina joined KDT’s administrative team in 2018.

Sreedevi Vengalil

School Coordinator

Sreedevi joined KDT’s school administrative team in 2022.

Bob Beverage

Grant Writer

Bob became KDT’s grant writer and consultant in 2019.

Interested in Joining Our Team?

We are not currently hiring, but feel free to reach out with your interest and experience, and we will keep you in mind for future opportunities.

Board of Directors

Read about our 2022-23 Board of Directors below.

Kalyan Mustaphi

Executive Director

Katha Dance Theatre Executive Director, Retired Engineer, formerly of Xcel Energy

Rita Mustaphi


Katha Dance Theatre Artistic Director, Teaching Artist at COMPAS

Monica Singh Shukla


Consultant at Pepper Foster Consulting

Kuhu Singh

Member at Large

Ecomm Sales & Marketing Manager at Evine Live

Aditi Stinbruchel

Member at Large

VP/Associate Director of Financial Analysis at Wells Fargo