To Top

Meet Kat Peng Nagar of Atlanta Historic Dance

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kat Peng Nagar.

Kat Peng Nagar, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up watching old movies with my mom and my favorite scenes were the ones where everyone was Waltzing in beautiful ballgowns. I loved the grace and beauty of the past where manners mattered. I even grew my hair long and often wore it to school in ringlets because I was a dance history nerd. I don’t think that term was even invented yet.

I was a traditionally trained dancer until I entered GA. State University. There I discovered a historic dance group called the Georgian Dancers. I studied Renaissance and Baroque dance with them and began studying Mid-Victorian dance with the Stately Vintage Dancer. After college, I attended many historic dance workshops at Stanford, in London and Wales, UK.

My dance partner, Chris Wilson, and I met at one of those workshops and we started Atlanta Baroque Dance in 1998 to focus on performances of 17th and 18th-century court and country dance. I started Atlanta Historic Dance in 2010 to offer performances from the 1500’s up through the 1960’s. My cut off is disco. I lived through the 70’s once and don’t need to relive it.

I am realizing my childhood dream. I get paid to run around in beautiful ballgowns that I have designed and sewn and have actually gotten to choreograph for a few film and TV projects. My current dream is to perform on the Fox Theater stage. Who wouldn’t want to perform in the most beautiful theater in Atlanta? My greatest joy, besides performing, is inspiring young girls. My favorite thing to hear is, “I want to be just like you when I grow up.”

Has it been a smooth road?
In the past, it has been very difficult to find performance opportunities and paying jobs. For the first few years, most of the performances were free. And it was hard to keep shelling out money for rehearsal space when nothing was coming in. Chris and I were basically paying to teach. I knew this was something special and kept pushing everyone to stick with it. Fortunately, we have a steady stream of jobs throughout the year and a few film project in the works for the Fall. We are also planning our first Outlander costume ball for the Spring of 2019.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Atlanta Historic Dance – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Atlanta Historic Dance provides performance in historic social dance. Most of the costumes the dancers wear are historically accurate, including all the layers of underpinnings. The dances are researched and performed according to the dance manuals of the time. This is a unique, fun type of performance and our audience members always enjoy the show. We bring history alive and are the only group in Atlanta that offers this kind of entertainment.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I like the diversity of the city. There are a lot of things to do and experience. The worst thing about Atlanta is the traffic and the lack of preservation. If the fire didn’t burn it, knock it down with a wrecking ball. So short-sighted.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in