My letter for the Day is ‘K
Today, I am going to write about my favorite dance form – Kathak. I am a trained Kathak dancer but now out of practice at all. Wiki says, Kathak is traditionally attributed to the traveling bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers. The term Kathak is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit word Katha meaning “story”, and kathaka in Sanskrit means “he who tells a story”, or “to do with stories”.
How to perform this dance?
Kathak is one of the major Indian classical dance forms and here foot movement, mudra, facial expression play the important role. And it has three gharanas: Jaipur, Lucknow and Banaras Gharanas.
For each Gharana, the movement and the style differ. I was from Lucknow Gharana. And we start the dance with a particular pranam, called ‘Salami’ which differs from gharana to gharana. This dance form was very popular during the Mughal era.
This dance form portrays the epic tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The dance of Shiva, ‘Tandav Nritya’ Is one of the best parts of this dance form. It has a mixed culture of Hindu and Mughal gharana. Dancers improvised a lot to attract the muslim audience which was different from the age-old dancing concept.
Different musical instruments are used for a Kathak performance, ‘sitar’, ‘tanpura’,’tabla’, ‘sarod’,’santur’,’bansuri’,’pakhawaj’ are the most popular. Generally, two instruments are used at the same time and the rhythm can be slow or fast based on the dancer’s performance.
Footwork is the main part of Kathak dance, so you can’t think about Kathak without ghungroo. The number of ghungroo increases with seniority. I have danced with highest 400 ghungroos (each one has 200). While dancer performs footwork it produces amazing rhythmic sound.
Previously, dancers’ worn saree with blouse but lehenga choli becomes popular nowadays. In Lucknow gharana, dancers wear ‘Anarkali’ during their performance. Featured cap, waist belt are used as accessory. Men wear silk dhoti or kurta pajama for the performance. Costume is well accessorized with traditional gold jewelry.
Dancers put on vivid face makeup and Facial expression is the key part so dancer’s eyes and lips should be highlighted properly.
Shambhu Maharaj was the famous name of Lucknow Gharana, his brothers Lachhu Maharaj and Acchan Maharaj were also popular in the art of Kathak. World famous name Pandit Birju Maharaj, is the legendary dancer of Maharaj family and son of Acchan Maharaj.
Sharing here some videos of Kathak Dance:
See what dance form I have shared for the letter ‘J’
What will be my next dance form for the letter ‘L’?
This post is in association with #BlogchatterA2Z
Are you enjoying this #DanceKaPunchnama? Please comment below.
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7 thoughts on “Kathak Dance – A to Z Challenge April 2018 #DanceKaPunchnama”
I love this dance very much. there is elegance and the way the dancers move is absolutely divine to watch. the dress, makeup and the movements are fabulous to note in this dance.
It was wonderful reading about one of my favourite dance forms, Kathak. Very well explained, dear 🙂
Wonderfully explained. Looking forward to more in this series for my own knowledge 🙂
I guess dance in any form is elegant and graceful. There are so many forms of dance to learn from your posts.
kathak is o beautiful and graceful. I did try learning when I was 10 years old. But didn’t have patience that time. love it though.
I have learnt kathak for all of 3 months! then I moved cities and got pregnant and that was the end of my journey with kathak. Now, I sadly look at the pictures of performances my kathak teacher puts up in Facebook and wish I had had the opportunity to learn the dance for as a child.
you can start now also…