Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar is an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher, and one of the world’s greatest proponents of the Kathak form. He is the first disciple of the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj.

His own disciples include Balbir Singh as well as Asavari Pawar, Akram Khan, Riaz Rhemtulla, Sandra La Espuelita, Sheela Kakkad and many others.

Known as ‘India’s Divine Dancer’ Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar is both a master of Classical Indian dance and natural storyteller, who beguiles audiences with his entertaining and accessible presentations of Kathak in its purest form.

Padmashri Pratap Pawar has performed to countless audiences throughout the world in a distinguished career that has spanned six decades and as many continents. He continues to perform internationally today.

‘Kathak is like an ocean. There is so much to learn and to perform’

Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar MBE

Photo: Robert Bloomfield

Feted in his own country wherever he goes, Pratap Pawar has also made a lasting mark on the international dance scene.

Throughout his career, Pratap has enthusiastically sought to bring together different cultures by blending Indian dance with other styles. As a daring pioneer he was the first to fuse Kathak with Flamenco. For this he has received great acclaim worldwide.

In the 1980s Pratap was asked to take residence in England and soon after he began teaching Kathak in London as the first step to what the Kathak scene in the UK has now become.

As a performer and choreographer, Pratap Pawar’s works range from classical Kathak to contemporary fusion; from solo performance to group dance drama. This is reflected in his educational work, which has seen dancers and choreographers from across the world learn both traditional techniques and gain insights into new ways of bringing together Kathak with their own style or training.

In 2008 Pratap Pawar received the Padmashri award from the Government of India in recognition of his distinguished and global contribution to the arts.

In 2019 he was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Years Honours list. This latest honour reflects Pratap Pawar’s profound impact on British dance culture, and highlights his ongoing contribution to fostering multicultural understanding in the UK through the common language of dance.

“He is like a cultural ambassador of our country to those nations where he taught Kathak and introduced our cultural traditions abroad.”

Pratibha Devisingh Patil, former President of India, on Pratap Pawar

Explore all

The Idea (learning to dance)
My destiny to bring them together
Natural curiosity and questions (learning to dance)
Composer thoughts (learning to dance)
The story (love and spice)
Dance with live cooking
On the trail of love and spice
Love, spice – and healthy eating
Breakdown of The Strategists
A dancer reflects on The Strategists (1)
An interview with Kuldip Singh Bist of the Delhi Hurricanes
Overview of The Strategists
Decreasing Infinity in India
Painter research
A dancer reflects on Love and Spice
Sooraj Subramaniam
Breakdown of the piece (12)
Dancer notes performance (flatlands)
Breakdown of the piece (love and spice)
Moon, dance
The Collaborators
Bones, Bodies and Beats
Peacock Lake – genesis of the concept
Script (12)
BMX and Flatland terminology
A dancer reflects on The Strategists (2)
Running order (full contact)
Watersplash! Uncovering hidden histories to reach new audiences
When Worlds Collide
Immersed in music
In the presence of geniuses
Namron
Olga Maloney
Exploring hidden worlds
Gary Beacom
A bridge to India
Jesse Bannister
A lost art?
Full Contact – highlights from the script
Kimberley Hardy
body/painting – dancers at an exhibition
Firing up the Mehfil Machine
Baines Cards
Who was Sir Hans Krebs?
Synchro in the city
Kali Chandrasegaram
Creative Case – challenges along the way
The Guru-Shishya relationship
Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar
What is Kathak?
Life blood
A new aesthetic in the sport-art of synchro
AquaKathak – the creative water workout
Balbir on working with Gary
Colouring your emotions
Abirami Eshwar