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Canada’s 1st Kathak and Tap Collaboration Artists: Susan Nase (Tap) & Amika Kushwaha (Kathak)

Tap dancer Susan Nase and Kathak dancer Amika Kushwaha explore the concept of percussion through dance. Percussion is usually associated with an instrument, however this collaboration shows how dance can also be percussive. This creative blend of two dance forms, Rhythm Tap and Kathak, is unique and is the first of its kind in Canada. Their performances at Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration and at Vancouver International Tap Festival have received rave reviews.


This collaboration works because...

Tap dance is a form of dance that uses the sound of one's tap shoes hitting the floor as a percussive instrument. Kathak has a similar idea, except that instead of shoes, dancers use the sound of their bare feet striking the ground and ankle bells to create the percussive sound. Tap dancer Susan Nase and Kathak dancer Amika Kushwaha, seamlessly blend the sounds from their forms of dance, bringing together unique percussion through tatkaar (rhythmic footwork), all while maintaining the graceful and powerful nature of their dance forms. Both dancers are internationally acclaimed, and in this collaboration, have creatively blended the complexities of the centuries old Indian Classical Dance, Kathak, with the contemporary American art form of Rhythm Tap Dance to explore percussion through dance.

While living in New York City, Susan studied and worked alongside some of the world's most acclaimed Tap dancers and choreographers. Amika studied Kathak from world renowned dance masters in India, and has been a professional Kathak dancer for many years. Both of these dancers ...and Engineers...were schoolmates, and after almost 12 years apart, are finally back together to explore the rhythms of their respective dance forms through this unique collaboration, which is a first of its kind in Canada.


Collaboration with Liam MacDonald

Susan and Liam, though coming from completely different backgrounds and training, share a passion for rhythm. Susan, a professional tap dancer, in this collaboration uses her tap shoes as an instrument, making music with her feet, body and voice. Liam, well versed in world percussion uses a number of different instruments and rhythms to compliment the sound of the taps and body music. Rooted in traditional rhythms, but driven by playful improvisation this collaboration explores the language of rhythm through conversation. Each artist brings their own strong individual voice to the conversation, but common ground is found through the dialogue of rhythm.

Both artists have a particularly strong interest in Brazilian and Afro Cuban music, as well as nerdy aptitudes for complex odd rhythmic patterns of Middle Eastern traditional music. Add in a splash of jazz, of which they both have considerable experience, and this duo can go any number of directions! This collaboration is in its infancy, but made a triumphant debut in May 2014 at All That Tap the West Coast Tap Dance Collective’s National Tap Dance Day celebration.

Shooz 'n a Box

Shooz 'n a Box is a conversation between tap dance and cajón composed, choreographed and performed by Susan Nase and Marcelo Woloski.  The project debuted at the East Flatbush Dance Festival in Brooklyn, NY in April 2011 and was filmed by Awoye Timpo in NYC in January 2012.