The world-famous Indian kite festival is celebrated in the new show - 'Kattam Katti'

Kattam Katti is a new dance/theatre performance from Pagrav Dance Company created by Urja Desai Thakore that transports its audience to Uttarayan in Gujarat, North India. 

In the wake of two sold-out nights at Sadler’s Wells in November the show has 2022 performances in Salford, Newcastle, Cambridge, Leeds and Plymouth. 

Every January millions of people from different cities, religions and social classes come together to fly kites in a unique event marking the transition from winter into spring. Whilst it is a joyous event, Uttarayan is also ruthlessly competitive. 

The aim is to fly your kite higher than anybody else’s.

Competitors coat their kite strings with glass pigment that while beautiful on the surface will also cut the strings of other kites.

Wounds to participants are not unknown and penthouse-owning rich people make full use their advantages by launching their kites from high rooftops. Kattam Katti draws parallels with society’s inequalities in India, the UK and around the world.

Kattam Katti (Cutting Through) is a neo classical work with a contemporary feel and strong roots in the South Asian dance tradition. It features live original music from four musicians who interact with, and move around with, the four dancers. 

Founded in 2005 by acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher Urja Desai Thakore, Pagrav Dance Company creates work rooted in classical Indian Kathak styles, fused with contemporary storytelling and design. The company is also highly committed to nurturing the next generation by providing a supportive platform for emerging dancers.

"Today there are many deeply divided societies around the world," said Urja, 

"I used kite flying and the festival as a metaphor for the inequalities of privilege I see in those societies and in the corporate world. It is also based on my personal observations of the festival and Gujarati heritage in general. I hope that by addressing such universal themes in this way we can introduce Asian dance to new audiences from diverse cultures." 

Tapping into the chaos, creativity and colour of the kite festival, the company brings to life the excitement of Uttarayan with lyricism, drama and exquisite technique. 

The work is created and performed by a new generation of British dancers of Indian heritage, accompanied by live musicians who collectively illustrate the highs, lows, loves and losses of lives that are lived out among the festivities. Kattam Katti is suitable for all ages and backgrounds.

Kattam Katti features dramaturgy by Lou Cope, set design by Simon Daw and lighting by Hector Murray. 

Co-commissioned by Sadler’s Wells it is funded by Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council with partners Cambridge Junction, Bedford University, Akademi, SED, Gem Arts, Bedfordshire Dance and Bedford Creative Arts. 


11 February 8pm
Salford, The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ
£16, £14 concessions 0343 208 6000

5 March 7.30pm
Newcastle Dance City (in association with GEM Arts), Temple St NE1 4BR
£13.50, £11 concs, £8 students. 0191 261 0505 

22/23 March 7.30pm
Cambridge Junction, Clifton Way, Cambridge CB1 7GX
£pay what you feel 01223 578 000

1 April 7.30pm
Leeds, Carriageworks Theatre (in association with South Asian Arts UK), The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square LS2 3AD
£tbc 0113 244 5523 

2, 3 June 7.30pm
Plymouth Theatre Royal The Drum, Royal Parade PL1 2TR
£tbc 01752 267222