Menu Close

Kathak Dance | Indian Classical Dance

Kathak dance is a classic Indian dance form. Kathak means ‘story teller’. Symbolic means storyteller through dance singing and acting. As a means of subsistence, these people were engaged in this business of religious nature.

Kathak Dance

History of Kathak dance

The most ancient and traditional folk dances of India gave birth to classical dances. Kathak dance developed from the folk dance Raas. This dance is described in Puranas, Natyashastra as well as in the poems of Vaishnava poets.

During the Vaishnava sect of the twelfth century, dance was of special importance. The dance was a fusion of music, poetry and acting. It is clear from the kirtan poems of Vaishnava poets that the form of That Bhramari Gat Tatkar is included in the Kathak dance.

Radhakrishna is the central subject of Rasa. The people who narrated the Krishnakathas in the Rasanritya were called Rasadhari Kirtankars or Kathakas. Later a certain style of dance was developed from this class and the dance performed by Kathakas became known as Kathak. Later, during the Muslim rule, the effect of Mughal artistic approach on the fine arts of Hindus is also evident from the North Indian dance Kathak.

Due to the love of the dance music of the Mughal kings of India as well as the humorous attitude, the popular religious dances of the north were introduced to the court by Muslim and Persian dancers. The introspection of Hindu dance art and the meeting of this Vani Bahirang brought forward the earlier Kathak dance in a different form.

This dance became a means of luxury that nourished the court atmosphere. Instead of Hindu men’s and women’s attire, tunics and pajamas began to appear. Since the Yavani dancers had difficulty in pronouncing the original terminology of the dance, Urdu or Persian words began to be planned. Despite this, the aristocratic aesthetics and humor of the Muslims resulted in the earlier dance becoming more elegant and effective.

The dance form remained in a state of disrepair for some time due to the low status of dancers in the society and the decline in the artistic quality of Kathak dance. However, in the late eighteenth century, the dance was revived by Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh. It was during this time that the Lucknow dynasty emerged in Kathak dance. In 1926, Mrs. Maneka Sokhi performed Kathak dance in public in Mumbai. Until then, it was limited to court or meetings of a few dancers.

Due to the love of the dance music of the Mughal kings of India as well as the humorous attitude, the popular religious dances of the north were introduced to the court by Muslim and Persian dancers. The intricacies of Hindu dance and the meeting of this Vani Bahirang brought the earlier Kathak dance in a different form. .

Instead of Hindu men’s and women’s attire, tunics and pajamas began to appear. Since the Yavani dancers had difficulty in pronouncing the original terminology of the dance, Urdu or Persian words began to be planned. Despite this, it is also true that the earlier dances became more elegant and effective as a result of the classical aesthetics and humor of the Muslims.

The dance form remained in a state of disrepair for some time due to the low status of dancers in the society and the decline in the artistic quality of Kathak dance. However, in the late eighteenth century, the dance was revived by Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh.

The Lucknow dynasty of Kathak dance emerged during his time. Until Mrs. Maneka Sokhi performed Kathak dance in public in Mumbai in 1926, it was confined to the court or to the meetings of a few dance lovers.

Costume

There are generally two types of costumes for men and women who invented Kathak dance. Some dancers wear loose skirts, polka dots and scarves. Some of them wear tunics and tunics over their pajamas. Bangles, earrings, necklaces, bindi etc. All ornaments are used to your liking. The men are dressed in yellow and northern and the pajamas are tunic and patka.

There is almost no symbolic gesture in the Kathak style. Whether it is face-to-face acting or physical acting, it is a feature of this style that is realistic and therefore easy to act. In it, folk acting is done. The sentimentality in Kathak is completely personal. This personal freedom does not require the Kathak dancer to go through the cycle.

The artist always has the opportunity to invent new ideas. But, according to the religions, according to the stage, according to the age, while acting as the heroine, the gestures and sattvic experiences in the dance have to be done according to the rhetoric.

In Kathak dance form till date Shambhumaharaj, Sundar Prasad, Jayalal Gopalji, Bhurrekhan, Jayakumari etc. Have become dancers. Current famous dancers include Lachhum Maharaj Birjum Maharaj Krishnakumar Gopikrishna Roshan Kumari Sitaradevi Damayanti Joshi.

Three Famous Families (Gharanas) of Kathak Dance Style

There are three famous families (Gharanas) of Kathak dance style, Lucknow, Jaipur and Benaras

1. Lucknow family

Ishwarji, a native of the Lucknow family, was a native of Handia village and was a Kathak in the Rasdhari tradition by profession. During the reign of Nawab Asaf Uddaula, Prakashji, the third generation of Ishwarji, settled in Lucknow and was appointed as a court dancer. His grandson Bindadin Maharaj Kalika Prasad made the Lucknow dynasty famous.

Bindadin Maharaj was a Krishna devotee poet. Kalika Prasad’s three sons Achchan Maharaj Lachhum Maharaj and Shambhum Maharaj Achchan Maharaj’s dance was elegant and rhythmic.

He taught dance to Shambhum Maharaj and Lachhum Maharaj. His son Birjum Maharaj is the current best dancer of the Lucknow family. In the Kathakas of the Lucknow family, lyrical elegance and passionate expression come to the fore.

2. Jaipur family

The history of the Jaipur family is very fragmentary. The original family of this family was from Bikaner in Rajasthan. These professional Kathak families later came to be known as dancers at the Jaipur court. From there the Jaipur dynasty emerged. Bhanuji, the original male of this family, Hariprasad and Hanuman Prasad of his dynasty were famous dancers in the Jaipur court.

His cousins ​​Jayalal and Sundar Prasad greatly enhanced the name of the Jaipur family. Hanuman Prasad’s grandsons Charangirdhar and Tejprakash are the youngest dancers in the family.

The dancers of the Jaipur family have a special mastery over the positions. He is especially proficient in the two organs of Tatkar and Chakkar. However, he lacks elegance in his dance and does not pay much attention to acting.

3. Benaras family

Shamaldas, the Rasdhari of Bikaner, a native of the Benaras family, came to prominence from him in the fifth Janaki Prasad at Benaras. From them the Benaras tradition came to prominence. His disciples were Dularam Ganeshilal and Chunilal. Among Dularamji’s three sons, Bihari Lal was a dancer at the Indore court and at the Gandharva Natak Mandali.

Among his students there was a very famous dancer named Nawabputli. Keshavrao More and Hiralal Jaipurwale, Kathak teachers from Maharashtra in India, were his disciples. Dularamji’s other disciple Puranlal was first at the Indore court and later settled in Mumbai.

The third disciple, Hiralal, was a dancer at the Bikaner and Indore courts. Ganeshilal’s three sons Hanuman Prasad Shivlal and Gopaldas Hanuman Prasad was a dancer in Jammu, Patiala, Bikaner and Nepal.

He was a dance teacher at Sangeet Bharati in Delhi till 1952. Shivlal was a tabla player. Gopaldas was a court dancer in Patiala and Lahore. He is credited with spreading Kathak dance in Punjab. His dance style was influential enough to be known as the Punjab Gharana. Among Gopalji’s disciples, old-time film actor Ashak Hussain was a great dancer. He taught dance to Gopalji’s son Krishnakumar.

Also Read-

Related Posts