Ved Institute of Performing Arts

Aditi Kathak Dance Classes & Institute in Mumbai |



Kathak - As stated in Natyashashtra - Kathak, the classical dance style from north  India comprises of intricate footwork and lighting chakkars. The word kathak is derived from the word "KATHA" that is story. In ancient times the wandering bards used to go from village to village and recite chiefly the 2 epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. to make this art more attractive they started adding song and dance to it. During Mugal invasion the Persian influence came into forefront and dancing girls surfaced into the society called Tawayafs and as such as very spiritual dance slowly started turning into a court presentation. Today what we see in kathak is a blend of both these influences.

In ancient times, the knowledge of epics and mythology was conveyed to the people by certain class of professional story tellers named - Kathakas, Granthikas, Gathakas, Pathakas etc. However, etymologically the word "Kathak" relates to "Katha" where dance, music and abhinaya are three ways to narrate the story.

There are Major 3 Gharanas or Schools of kathak  namely, Banaras gharana, Lucknow Gharana and Jaipur Gharana. These gharanas have achieved their distinct names from the area where they flourished and were developed by renowned gurus.

Technique - Kathak originally had only 2 instruments – Tabla and Sarangi. To a great extent the Kathak technique is Nritta oriented and so concerns itself with rhythm and timing. Due to which footwork is predominant element in kathak. Kathak dancers can create and present different variation with the same pattern of music. Footwork accompanied with harmonious use of entire body – such a piece is called a “TODA”. This exhibition of toda is a true test of a kathak dancer’s  dexterity and virtuosity.

The various pieces in kathak brings out the beauty or rhythm in all its forms. These rhythmic compositions are called “BOLS”. Bols have different features and are peculiarity based, various types such as vandana, aamada, thaat, natwari, paramelu, paran, kramaalaya, kavitaa, toda and tukadaa, sangeeta, padhant etc.

Kathak also provides ample scope for Nritya (expression) in dance. Bhajan, Thumri, daadra, gazal, hori etc are inn its repertoire.











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