Kathak Kendra

National Institute of Kathak Dance, also known as Kathak Kendra, is the premier dance institution for the Indian classical dance form of Kathak, and a unit of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, situated in New Delhi. Established in 1964, the institution is primarily dedicated to Kathak, though it also offers courses in Hindustani classical music (Vocal) and Pakhawaj.

The Kendra also became a venue for innovation in the form and presentation style of Kathak, merging formats from both the Lucknow and Jaipur gharana in the coming decades. This was also the period of experimental works, which showed a progression away from the canonical motifs and themes of Kathak, like Radha Krishna, Chhed Chhad, Gat Bhav and Tode Tukde.

when Keshav Kothari was the Director at the Kendra and also Secretary of Sangeet Natak Akademi, a work title, Parikrama was choreographed by Birju Maharaj, in which Kathak was used to depict the natural rhythm that runs through all animate objects. In 1982, Kathak Kendra started organising two national-level Kathak festivals annually, 'Kalka Bindadin Festival' and 'Sharad Chandrika Festival', focussing of group and solo performances respectively. This also provided a common platform of dancers from both Lucknow and Jaipur gharana to allow mingling of ideas and facilitate innovations. After having received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award at the age of 28, Birju Maharaj received India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 1986.