Vaswati Misra, an exponent of Kathak, eminent choreographer and teacher, is the Founder and Director of Dhwani. She is also the Director and Guru of the Pt. Shambhu Maharaj Kathak Academy, which was instituted in 1999 by ‘Dhwani’ with a promise to impart a sound knowledge of kathak, Hindustani music and cultural studies related to these art forms. She is also the Artistic Director & Choreographer of the Dhwani Repertory. Her stint as teacher and choreographer began when she joined Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra as a teacher at 19. She has been Kathak Guru at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra and also Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. Vaswati Misra’s father-in-law, Pt. Shambhu Maharaj, was the first Kathak Guru ever to receive the Padma Shri Award in 1956 from the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Pt. Shambhu Maharaj stayed in Kolkata for about 8 years till 1952/53. He had eminent students from Kolkata including Smt. Bela Arnab, Bandana Sen, Pt. Ram Narayan Mishra and film actors Anita Guha and Chhaya Debi. He used to have regular Baithaki at Raichand Boral's residence.Vaswati Misra’s mother was an actor associated with the Bengali organisation, Juba Sampradaya. There used to be regular gatherings of people from cultural fields in her house. They lived right next door to the Kathak Kendra in Delhi, where Vaswati used to accompany her elder sister. So, even before she realised it, she was exposed to that atmosphere. Her formal training started when she was seven, and she was lucky to have the best gurus of the time — Reba Vidyarthi and Birju Maharaj.Vaswati Misra’s career as a dancer, teacher and choreographer has spanned a period of thirty five years. Whether performing as a soloist, or along with her husband, Krishan Mohan Misra, or her sister Saswati Sen, or as a member of the Dhwani Repertory, Vaswati’s dance shows equal mastery over both, nritta and abhinaya. As the artistic director of the Dhwani repertory, she has created a tremendous body of work. She has collaborated with some of the most outstanding musicians and writers of the times. Her work includes the production Raha with Parbathy Baul Arpan, based on the works of Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan performed with Amitabh Bachchan Rare Rhythms in collaboration with Sivamani, Selva Ganesh and Taufiq Qureshi Pinocchio penned by Gulzar and music by Zakir Hussain Rasaarchana with music by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.Some of her more prominent productions are: Traditional- Chaturang(1986), Khayal(1988),Thumri(1990), Mahadev(1994), Nayika(1998), Taal Chakra(1999), Tarana(2000), Forsythia(2001), Rare Rhythms(2001), Ullaas(2003), Lavanya(2004), Yoddhaa (2006), Salaami(2007), Qawali(2007), Graha-Nayak(2008), Panchbhoot (2009), Utsav (2011), Albela Sajan(2013), Aagomoni(2014), Shiv Stuti(2015), Ganga(2015), Naman(2017), Abeer(2017) Literature Based- Aasoo(1985), Kaun Hai(1986), Urmila(1997), Kanupriya(1997), Ram Ki Shakti Pooja(1998), Asthaavastha(1999), RasRang(2001), Jeevan(2003), Hero In Shades(2005), Prothom Phaagun Maash(2012) Contemporary- Upekshita(1982), Udgam (1986), Purushaarth (1990), Bali(1992), Aavaahini(1992), The Last Leaf(1994).Awareness Based- Vasundhara(2002), Beyond Boundaries(2003), Yat Pinde Tat Brahmande(2005), Garvita (2007), Swatah (2008), The Mirag (2008), Mukhtadhar and Potli (2009 –10) For Children- Shyam Chhavi(1987), Ram Kaavya(1993), Tathaagat(1999), Kabir(2000), Umang (2000), Malgudi Days(2002), Pinocchio (2003), Kaa Gati (2004), Ganesh (2004), Awadh (2005) , Jesus (2006), Sadak Ke Us Paar (2007), Krishna (2014), Potli (New), Sarvatra (2015), Taateel (New - 2017) For Special Children - Udaan(1998) For Underprivileged Children - Aakhir Kyun(1999) Republic Day- Mukhauta Vichitraa (1993), Directed Republic Day Folk Dance Festival (1999).Apart from participating at major events in India, some of which include : • Kalka Bindadin Mahotsav • Khajuraho Festival • Baba Alauddin Khan Samaroh • Qutub Mahotsav • Orchha Mahotsav • Chakradhar Mahotsav • Champaner Mahotsav • Basant Utsav • International Sufi Mahotsav .She has also been performing abroad at events like: Cerventino Dance Festival, Mexico (1984) Festival of India, Moscow, (1988) American Dance Festival (ADF),USA (1989) USA Dance Tour (1991) Indo-Japan Festival South Africa Dance Tour European Dance Tour (1995 & 1996) Bangladesh Dance Tour (2000) VIIth International Hindi Festival Surinam & Latin America Dance Tour (2003) Nueva Festival (2003) Kathak at the Crossroads Festival, San Fransisco (2006) Damini House Of Works, Norway (2006) Bacchan’s Centenary & Bhavan’s 60th Year Celebration at Lincon Centre, NY (2007) Jeonju Festival, South Korea (2007) Cracovia International Festival, Poland (2008) Europe Tour (2009) Canada Tour (2010) Indonesia (2012) Kingdom of Morocco (2017) New Zealand (2017) Vaswati Misra is an artist who does not live in her ivory tower but is totally conscious of her social responsibility as an artist. She has laid great emphasis on using dance as a means for the wholesome development of her students, whether they belong to the privileged community or to the underserved segment of society. Particularly for the latter, she started a school called Zaroorat, where academic and cultural education went hand in hand. She emphasised the importance of the performing arts in the overall growth of these children which helped them cope and manage the stresses that they faced in their daily lives.