Kathak is an Indian Classical Dance from Uttar Pradesh, which has its origins in Brajbhoomi from Ras Leela. Kathak means ‘Kathika’, which shows the recital of stories and storytellers narrating the epics with music and dance.
Kathak gained popularity during the Mughal era in India, as it was then showcased in the Mughal Courts. It was influenced by attire brought from Persia and their style of Dancing.
The decline of the Mughal Empire brought down the fame of Kathak with it, which was revived in the 20th Century by Lady Leela Sokhey and was then popularized by legends like Birju Maharaj, Lacchu Maharaj, Sitara Devi, Damayanti Joshi, etc.
Kathak is known for the development of different “Gharanas”, and they are,
- Banaras Gharana – It focuses on the perfection of gestures and their symmetry. It was developed by Janakiprasad.
- Jaipur Gharana – It focuses on rythm and speed with fluency pattern. It was developed by Bhanuji.
- Raigarh Gharana – It focuses on music and the perfection of movements to the music. It was developed under the patronage of Raja Chakradhar Singh.
- Lucknow Gharana – It focused on the gestures and perfection of expressions with grace. It received patronage of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.
Elements of Kathak:
- In Kathak, when a dancer enters the stage, it is known as “Ananda”.
- “Thaat” is the varied movements.
- “Todas” and “Tukdas” are the fast rythms, distributed into small pieces.
- “Padhant” is where dancers recites the wordings and shows it by performance.
- “Tarana” is the rythmic movements.
Jugalbandi is the most loved performance of Kathak. It is the section where the dancer and the tabla player compete in rythm.
Gat Bhaav is the silent and soothing way of showing the stories without music or words.
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