Indian Classical Dance - Kathak Dance
Bharatanatyam Dance

Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Northern India, India. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers.

The word Kathak is derived from katha, meaning "the art of storytelling." It is also synonymous with the community of artists known as Kathakas whose hereditary profession it was to narrate history while entertaining. 'Bha' - Bhavam (means expression),


With dance, music and mime these storytellers of ancient India would bring to life the great scriptures and epic so ancient times, especially the great Indian epics - the Mahabharata and the Ramayana - and the Puranas of Sanskrit literature.

The technique of Kathak today is characterized by fast rhythmic footwork set to complex time cycles. The footwork is matched by the accompanying percussion instruments such as tabla and pakhawaj, and the dancer and percussionists often indulge in a virtuoso display of rhythmic wizardry.The dance movements include numerous pirouettes executed at lightning speed and ending in statuesque poses.
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There are three major schools or gharanas of Kathak from which performers today generally draw their lineage: the gharanas of Jaipur,Lucknow and Benares.

The Kathak Ghunghru or ghunghroo ( the small bells the dancer ties around his or her ankles) are different from those of other Indian dance styles, as they are not affixed to a pad or strip of leather, but rather are individually woven along a thick string.

Female traditional Hindu costume sometimes consists of a sari, whether worn in an everyday style, or tied up to allow greater freedom of movement during dance. However, more commonly, the costume is a lehenga-choli combination, with an optional odhni or veil. Both lehenga and choli can be highly ornately embroidered or decorated.

Female Mughal costume consists of an angarkha on the upper body. The design is akin to a chudidaar kameez, but is somewhat tighter fitting above the waist, and the 'skirt' portion explicitly cut on the round to enhance the flare of the lower half during spins. The skirt may also be cut on the round but beginning just below the bust; this style is known as 'Anarkali' after the eponymous dancer who popularised it. Beneath the top, the legs are covered by the chudidaar or figure hugging trousers folded up giving the look of cloth bangles. Optional accessories are a small peaked cap and a bandi or small waistcoat to enhance the bust-line. A belt made of zari or precious stones is also worn on the waist.

The traditional costume for men is to be bare-chested. Below the waist is the dhoti, usually tied in the Bengal style, that is with many pleats and a fan finish to one of the ends. There is the option of wearing a men's bandi too.

The men Mughal costume is kurta-churidar. The kurta can be a simple one, or again, adapted for dance to incorporate wider flare, but is usually at least knee-length. Men may also wear an angarkha. Particularly older variety costumes include the small peaked cap too.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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