He can make the world go mute when his feet do the talking! Pandit Chitresh Das is a maestro and virtuosic performer of the Indian classical dance Kathak. After teaching and entertaining millions of people across the globe with his dance, the Kathak guru has now teamed up with PETA India to star in an ad about animals forced to perform in circuses. The ad has been shot by photographer Donald Barry Woodrow.
“Animals in circus[es] is old-fashioned entertainment”, says Pt Das, who is currently on a visit to India for a Kathak performance. “Watching animals roaming in nature, they have their own dance and music. It’s cool. Why interfere with that?”
We’re thankful to Pt Das for speaking out against the use of animals in entertainment. Animals in circuses lead lives of constant confinement, chronic physical abuse and psychological torment. In addition to confinement and beatings, the animals are often denied access to water, food and veterinary care. Dogs are crammed into dirty cages and are hardly ever let out of them. Many birds have their wings clipped and are kept in cages so small that there is no room for them to fly, and horses are kept tethered on short ropes. Elephants are routinely tied by three legs and subjected to beatings with sharp steel-tipped ankuses.
Pt Das has won numerous prestigious awards, including the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts – the highest honour bestowed by the US government for a traditional artist. He is also the founder of unique form of dancing and exercise called “Kathak Yoga”.
Help Pt Das and join us in stamping out cruelty to animals by pledging to boycott circuses!