KATHAK – Form of North Indian Classical Dance

KATHAK - Indian Classical Dance

Kathak is one of the essential genres of historical North Indian classical dance and is traditionally seemed to have originated from the touring bards of North India referred as Kathakars or storytellers. Those Kathakars wandered round and communicated mythical testimonies via song, dance and songs quite like the early Greek theatre. The genre evolved in the course of the Bhakti motion, the fashion of theistic devotion which developed in medieval Hinduism. The Kathakars communicate testimonies via rhythmic foot moves, hand gestures, facial expressions and eye work. This appearing artwork that carries legends from historic mythology and top-notch Indian epics, mainly from the life of Lord Krishna have become famous in the courts of North Indian kingdoms. 3 types of this genre that is 3 gharanas (schools), which typically fluctuate in emphasis given to footwork versus performing, are extra famous namely, the Jaipur gharana, the Benaras gharana and the Lucknow gharana.

History & Evolution

The underlying foundations of this move structure follow back to Sanskrit Hindu content on performing expressions called ‘Natya Shastra’ composed by antiquated Indian theatrologist and musicologist Bharata Muni. It is assumed that the main complete rendition of the content was finished between 200 BCE to 200 CE, however a few sources notice the time span to associate with 500 BCE and 500 CE. A huge number of sections organized in various sections are found in the content that partitions move in two specific structures, in particular ‘Nritya’ that is unadulterated move which include artfulness of hand developments and motions, and ‘nritya’ that is solo expressive move that spotlights on articulations.

The word Kathak is deduced from the Vedic Sanskrit time period ‘Katha’ this means that ‘tale’ even as the term Kathaka that reveals place in numerous Hindu epics and texts approach the person that tells a story. text-based evaluation shows Kathak as an ancient Indian classical dance form that possibly originated in Banaras or Varanasi after which unfold its wings in Jaipur, Lucknow and many different regions of north and northwest India.

Association with Bhakti Movement

The Lucknow Gharana of Kathak changed into based by means of Ishwari Prasad, a devotee of the Bhakti motion. Ishwari lived inside the village of Handiya located in southeast Uttar Pradesh. it is believed that Lord Krishna got here to his desires and informed him to develop “dance as a shape of worship”. He taught the dance shape to his sons Adguji, Khadguji and Tularamji who once more taught their descendants and the lifestyle persevered for greater than six generations hence sporting ahead this rich legacy that is nicely acknowledged because the Lucknow grarana of Kathak by using Indian literature on track of both Hindus and Muslims. The improvement of Kathak in the course of the era of Bhakti motion predominantly focussed on the legends of Lord Krishna and his everlasting love Radhika or Radha discovered in texts just like the ‘Bhagavata Purana’ which have been spectacularly done by means of the Kathak artists.

The 3 main sections of a Kathak dance are invocation and ‘Nritta’ and ‘Nritya’ cited in ‘Natya Shastra’ and accompanied by means of all main Indian classical dance bureaucracy. within the invocation part the dancer offers respect to her guru and musicians onstage and invocation to Hindu gods and goddesses via mudras or hand gestures and facial expressions if the institution follows Hindu culture. In case of Muslim groups, the dancer offers a salami or salutation.


As Kathak – form of North Indian Classical Dance is famous each in Hindu and Muslim groups the costumes of this dance form are made in line with traditions of the respective groups. There are two forms of Hindu costumes for female dancers. even as the first one consists of a sari worn in a completely unique fashion complimented with a choli or blouse that covers the higher frame and a headband or urhni worn in a few locations, the alternative costume consists of a protracted embroidered skirt with a contrasting choli and a obvious urhni. costume is properly complimented with traditional jewellery, commonly gold, that consists of the ones adorning her hair, nostril, ear, neck and hand. Musical anklets referred to as Ghunghru made of leather-based straps with small metallic bells attached to it are wrapped in her ankles that produce rhythmic sound whilst she plays notable and astounding footwork. Head Jewellery embellishes her in the 2nd case. shiny face make-up put on helps spotlight her facial expressions. Hindu male Kathak dancers normally put on a silk dhoti with a silk scarf tied at the upper a part of the frame which commonly remain naked or can be protected with the aid of a loose jacket. Jewellery of male dancers is quite easy in comparison to their female counterparts and are generally manufactured from stone.

Instruments & Music

A Kathak performance can also include a dozen classical units depending greater on the impact and depth required for a selected performance. but some instruments are commonly used in a Kathak performance just like the tabla that harmonise nicely with the rhythmic foot movements of the dancer and regularly imitates sound of such footwork actions or vice-versa to create a splendid jugalbandi. A manjira this is hand cymbals and sarangi or harmonium are also used most usually.

Famous Personalities

Approaching personalities related to Kathak consist of amongst others the founders of the one of a kind gharanas or schools of this shape of classical dance particularly Bhanuji  of the Jaipur Gharana; Janaki Prasad of the Benaras Gharana; Ishwari Prasad of the Lucknow Gharana; and Raja Chakradhar Singh of the Raigarh Gharana. Shambhu Maharaj turned into a famend guru of the Lucknow Gharana. His brothers Lachhu Maharaj and Acchan Maharaj had been additionally stalwarts in the art of Kathak. One name that has nearly turn out to be synonymous with present day day Kathak dance is Pandit Birju Maharaj, a scion of the mythical Maharaj circle of relatives and son of Acchan Maharaj. He’s considered the leading suggest of the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana. Sitara Devi turned into any other famous person of this dance form described as Nritya Samragini this is the empress of dance through Rabindranath Tagore and she or he keeps to hold her Kathak Queen title even after dying. other eminent Kathak artists encompass Roshan Kumari, Shovana Narayan, Maya Rao and Kumudini Lakhia to name some.

To Know more about this dance form, click here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathak

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