Katya Tosheva is a gifted multi-style dancer from Bulgaria, an artist who has found inspiration in three main classical dance forms of India, a country with which she has a deep emotional connection. Trusting her heart, Katya quit her job as an engineer and began an endless journey into the depths of Indian classical dance. She currently learns three Indian classical forms of dance – Odissi, Kathak,and Bharatanatyam under highly respected and internationally recognized teachers – Sharmila Mukerji (Bangalore), Ravi Shankar Mishra (Varanasi) and Nivedita Badve (Pune).
Her training includes dozens of individual classes and group lessons with famous teachers and performers such as Swati Tivari, Saraswathi Rajathesh, Kalayamamani Kutalam M. Selvam, Vidha and Abhimanyu Lal (India), Karan Pangali (UK), Christina Zanni (Greece) and Stefan Hristov (Bulgaria). Visiting different parts of India, Katya explores not only the classical but also the rich folk dance tradition.
Following her dreams, she has founded an Indian Dance School “Kaya”, where she shares her knowledge and interests with joy and enthusiasm. She conducts regular classes in Sofia and Plovdiv and teaches at Indira Gandhi School – the only school in Bulgaria related to India’s culture. In 2018, Katya received an invitation from the Embassy of India to perform for the Independence Day celebration and for the President of India during his visit to Bulgaria. Katya has also participated in numerous events dedicated to the traditions of India, in Bulgaria and abroad.
For three years, she was invited to teach in Serbia, and during her trip to India in September 2018, she won the first prize at the prestigious dancing festival in Pune.
Katya’s performances have been greatly appreciated in Greece, Cyprus, Spain, France, Serbia
Here is CSP interview with Katya Tosheva, the multi-talented dancer from Bulgaria :
What made you choose Indian dance?
I wouldn’t say I have chosen Indian dance – the dance chose
Who were your teachers and how long was your training ?
I am still learning! This is a process which will never end. Presently, I am studying Odissi with Guru Sharmila
What are the dance forms in Bulgaria, how different is it from Indian dance ?
There are a lot of similarities between the folk dances in Bulgaria and India. We also have very rich dance tradition. The name of the dance is “Horo”. It is a group
How has Indian dancing changed you and your life style?
Dancing and Yoga has changed almost everything – my way of thinking, of understanding, my vision about what is important in life, my emotions, everything around me – people who I meet, things which I do every day. Surely I can say I live healthier and I am more active. After I quit my office job my schedule changed completely and I am happy to spend more time dancing than sitting in front of the computer!
We see you learn 3 classical styles simultaneously -Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi. That’s’ amazing ! What makes it easy and difficult when transferring from one dance form to another?
I have much more to learn about each of these styles. The good thing is that the stories,
Any preference of styles?
I really can’t say I have
How did you find the teaching methods of your Dance Gurus here?
Every one of them has its own energy and approach. But the demands of
What are your practice routines? How did you manage your time from one class to another?
I try to have time for yoga practice every day, two days in the week for practicing every style.
Did the Classical art form of India bind you and Rosen in your happy marriage ?
Actually Rosen taught my first yoga lesson and I this was very important moment in my life. I remember when we were dating and I gifted him a batik with the image of the meditating Lord Shiva. Now this batik is in our home in my studio. Many times Rosen helps me to understand the rhythm when we practice together. He plays the tabla for me on the stage,this is like a dream came true!
Do you work/perform together ?
Yes, we were happy to be students
Where have you been to showcase your arts ?
We have performed together at various festivals in Bulgaria for
How do you manage the music for your dance?
For most of the performances I use recorded music, especially for Bharatanatyam and Odissi as in Bulgaria there are no musicians and vocalists who can perform Indian classical music. I am blessed to have live music for my Kathak performances, with Rosen and Marije Hristova – a very close friend and a talented violin player as my accompanists on stage. Recently we
When did you establish your dance school ? How do your young students respond to Indian culture ?
I started teaching 4 years ago. I really wanted to have a group to share the happiness with. So in the beginning I had only adults students. I was renting different studio for my classes and often my students weren’t enough in count to cover even the rent. So sometimes we were dancing outside. One day we were in the yard of a school and while we were practicing a few kids came and asked whether they can join us. On the next day I went to the director of the school and introduced my self. To work with kids is amazing.We talk a lot, we build together our team, support each other. Of course our favorite moment is when we are preparing for performance.I am proud of the discipline of my students, the bigger ones help me with the smaller ones, everyone has a responsibility to take care of.
Do schools/ Universities in Bulgaria have knowledge about Indian dance ?
There is only one primary school connected with Indian culture in Bulgaria and it is the Indira Gandhi School where I teach. Sofia University has an Indological department where they teach Indian languages, history, literature, and culture. May be in the future they will include dances in the program too.
Please share with us your difficulties in the journey of a dancer. What suggestions do you have to solve them ?
The main difficulty for me is earning money. Many times I am invited to perform at festivals and all kind of events for free. It is really
Has the Govt. of India supported any of your programs?
I had the honor to dance for the Independence
What is your goal as an artist? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years with the richness of the dances you are so passionate about ?
My hope is to be able to continue with my studying.To be able to travel again and again to India and to be with my teachers! To go deeper and deeper in this magical world of Indian art and to be able to share it with more people all over the world! I am sure I will continue with the three dance forms which I am learning now and, who knows,
How do you find your Indian dance mates?
I just love my classmates!!! Especially those in Sanjali center for Odissi dance. Whenever I am in Bangalore I stay in a school and have the amazing opportunity to attend every class with the kids or with the senior students. I observe their dedication and passion, and it inspires me a lot! The best moments are when I am practicing with
What was the best and the worst thing about India during your stay?
The best thing about India is the diversity, the people, Yoga and the best of the best – I became the girl I wanted to be! The worst thing during my stay – if I don’t count the few times when someone tried to steal my things and lie to me, I can’t say I had bad experiences in India, everybody
Katya’s interview for BBC News was translated into Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English and reached more than million views in two weeks!