Author: A Compilation
Publisher: Centre for Cultural Resources and Training
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/a
This package of 24 color illustrations on art paper with a book on Kathak, a distinct dance form wedded to Hindustani music. Being the only classical dance of India having links with Muslim culture, it represents a unique synthesis of Hindu and Muslim genius in art.
The word Kathak has been derived from the word ‘Katha’ which means a story. ‘Kathakars’ or story-tellers are people who narrate stories largely based on episodes from the epics, myths and legends. It probably started as an oral tradition. Mime and gestures were perhaps added later on to make the recitation more effective. Thus evolved a simple form of expressional dance, providing the origins of what later developed into Kathak as we see it today.
With the coming of the Mughals, this dance form received a new impetus. A transition from the temple courtyard to the palace durbar took place which necessitated changes in presentation . In both Hindu and Muslim courts, Kathak became highly stylized and came to be regarded as a sophisticated form of entertainment. Under the Muslims there was a greater stress on nritya and bhava giving the dance graceful, expressive and sensuous dimensions.
The nineteenth century saw the golden age of Kathak under the patronage of Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Oudh. He established the Lucknow gharana with its strong accent on bhava, the expression of moods and emotion. The Jaipur gharana known for it layakari or rhythmic virtuosity and the Benaras gharana are other prominent schools of Kathak dance.
The technique of movement in Kathak is unique to it. The weight of the body is equally distributed along the horizontal and vertical axis. The full foot contact is of prime importance where only the toe or the ball of the foot are used, their function is limited. The technique is built by the use of an intricate system of foot-work.
Today, Kathak HAS EMERGED AS A ADISTINCT DANCE FRORM. Being the only classical dance of India having links with Muslim culture, it represents a unique synthesis of Hindu and Muslim genius in art. Further, Kathak is the only form of classical dance wedded to Hindustani or the North Indian music. Both of them have had a parallel growth, each feeding and sustaining the other.
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