Kathak

Kathak (Hindi: कथक) is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dance. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers. Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of thebhakti movement.

From the Sanskrit word katha meaning “story”, and katthaka in Sanskrit means “he who tells a story”, or “to do with stories”. The name of the form is properly कत्थक katthak, with the geminated dental to show a derived form, but this has since simplified to modern-day कथक kathak. kathaa kahe so kathak is a saying many teachers pass on to their pupils, which is generally translated as “she/he who tells a story, is a kathak”, but which can also be translated as “that which tells a story, that is ‘Kathak'”.

There are two major schools or gharana of Kathak from which performers today generally draw their lineage: the gharanas of Jaipur,Lucknow and (born in the courts of the Kachwaha Rajput kings, the Nawab of Oudh, and Benaras respectively); there is also a less prominent (and later) Raigarh gharana which amalgamated technique from all three preceding gharanas but became famous for its own distinctive compositions.


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