The war fought in the Mahabharata was not just down to Arjun, but his brother, Karan.

Abhay Mishra Shankar, the kathak artist in residence at the Bhavan (London), explores the little known hero in this piece using pure kathak.

This dance piece is based on a lesser known hero Karna, from the grand epic Mahabharata. Karna was mistreated and unaccepted by the community for being unaware of his lineage due to which he suffered much hardship.

“Unfortunately we still see many forms of discrimination in society till this present day, in the form of racism, sexism and discrimination due to age, religion, caste and even disability. We need to raise our voices against discrimination which restricts the world from being equal and carefree. Being an artist and even as a human being, I have felt these discriminations and dance being my medium of expression and my profession, I would like to make a stand against discrimination through my medium, dance.” 


Abhay Shankar Mishra.

Abhay Shankar Mishra comes from a respected family of musicians in Banaras, where the tradition of Indian classical music has been kept alive and handed down through generations over 200 years.

Abhay is one of the leading exponents of Kathak dance in India and abroad. He is a mesmerising performer, dynamic teacher and creative choreographer of Kathak.

He has been awarded the status of an ‘A’ grade artist by the National TV channel, Doordarshan. He has been an empanelled performer and selected teacher of the ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) and has worked as a senior dancer in the production unit of Kathak Kendra (Delhi). To his credit, Abhay has performed all over the world in countries such as UK, USA (International Kathak Festival) France, Germany, Spain, Italy, S. Africa, China and North Korea, to mention a few. Currently Abhay is the resident Kathak teacher at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London and has been for the last 10 years where he has over 100 students to whom he is passing on this unique art form for the upcoming generation to promote and preserve.


Tour Dates

Patidar Centre

Feb 12 , 2011

Wembley, London



Kathak created and performed by Abhay Mishra Shankar

Mentored by Shobana Jeyasingh.

Music composition by Hari Vrndavn Sivanesan         

Musicians: Hari Vrndavn Sivanesan (vocal) Deepak Sahai (tabla), Yatheesan Selvakumar (flute), Daren Aubeeluck (guitar) Fram Karbhari (keyboard/drums), Amy Patel  (effects/padhant)


Commissioned by Hardial S. Rai for UKGharana season with support from The Arts Council of England and zeroculture