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KATHAK

BY
LALITHA SINDHURI
AGENDA
Introduction
History
Technique
Repertoire
Conclusion
References

INTRODUCTION
Kathak is not the name of a dance form.
Kathaa kahe so kathak kahaaye
Which means The one who narrates a story is a story teller called
Kathakaar.
Initially, kathak started with little movements around Brindavan
and Braj areas.
Many songs used to be in Brajboli dialect.
Kathak was believed to be started around 12
th
Century. Present
practices can be linked to 15
th
Century.
We can see the historical evidences of Kathakars in Rajasthani
miniature paintings etc.

HISTORY
Initially, kathaakars used to dance, sing and act the stories of epics
in temples.
But Mughals after invading India destroyed all the temples.
Then evolved Nachunis, dancing girls and Tawaifs in the courts of
the Kings.
Then slowly Kathak evolved as an entertainment in the courts of
Mughals rather than just a religious art.
During the time of British rule, only patrons of kathak were Hindu
kings like Rajputs etc.
In fact present 3 styles were only formed in 19
th
Century at 3
different places.

HISTORY
Lucknow Gharana had its roots in Avadh kindom ruled by Waajid
Ali Shah, the 10
th
and the last king of Avadh(Present U.P.)
Thakur Prasad is the Guru of Waajid Ali shah. Ali shah is not only
a dancer, but also a singer, writer,musician .
Thakur Prasads sons Kalka Prasad and Binda Din also did great
work and were foundation stones of Lucknow Gharana.
Binda Din had written around1500 Tumris.
Ganesh Paran was written by Thakur Prasad which is the main
item in the repertoire of Kathak even today.

Ishwari Prasad
Adgu ji
Pragas ji
Durga prasad ji
Maharaj
bindadin
Maharaj Kalka
Prasad
Acchan
Maharaj
Birju
Maharaj
Jai Kishan
Maharaj
Deepak
Maharaj
Lacchu
Maharaj
Shambhu
Maharaj
Krishna Mohan
Maharaj
Rammohan
Maharaj
Maharaj
Bhairon Prasad
Thakur prasad
ji
Maan ji
Dayal ji Harilal ji
Khargu ji Tularam ji
HISTORY
JAIPUR GHARANA- Developed at Rajgarh patroned by Raja
Chakradhar Singh(Great Patron of arts of 19
th
Century).
Great devotee of Krishna called Bhanujee developed this art at
Rajasthan.
Among the contemporary gurus and performeres of Jaipur
Gharana, Jailal, the doyen among them was born in 1885.
The Maharaja of Jaipur was very fond of dance and gave a place
of honour to Jailal in Gunijankhana where 750 aritists were
maintained.
Later, Jailal spent 8 years in the court of Raja Chakradhar singh.
Sunder prasad, the younger brother of Jailal was trained by their
father Chunnilal.
He was sent to Bindadin to learn Lucknow style and hence
proficient in both the styles.
HISTORY
Later, Sunder lal established Maharaj Bindadin School of Kathak
in bombay where he trained many students like Mohanrao Kalyan
purkar, Poovaiah sisters , Sunalini Devi, Madame
Menaka,Sohanlal , Hiralal and Roshan Kumari.
Then at Bharatiya Kalakendra, he trained Uma Sharma, Durgalal,
Kumudini Lakhia, Maya Rao, Urmila Nagar etc.
BANARAS GHARANA-Developed by Janki Prasad who was
originally from Bikaner of Rajasthan.
He created the pure dance bols called Natwari Bols.These bols
mark a distinct variation from other bols.
There are also differences in dance postures and execution of
movements.

VASANT RAGINI PAINTINGS AT PRINCE OF WALES MUSEUM MUMBAI
TECHNIQUE
Most striking feature of Kathak is its extreme subtlety.
Being originally a religious dance, it was first performed to vedic
chants, and later to the religious songs in Prabhand style.
Keertans and Dhrupads were added in 15
th
Century.
Kathak is 2D in nature.
Basic foot position is Sama Pada.
Body is neither divided into two halves as in Manipuri nor torso is
conceived of as a sinle unit as in Bharatnatyam.
TECHNIQUE
Balance of the body usually will be on both the legs in Sama
pada,flat feet since most complex foot work can be executed
precisely only through a delicate balance of weight on the flat
foot.
Kathakar was accompanied by one singer, two musicians using
Pakhawaj or Table(Tabla and Banya) for rhythm and Sarangi or
Sitar for melody.
Footwork in Kathak is known as Tatkar.
The student must memorize the bols of rhythmic syllables with the
help of claps.

TEEN TAAL :
STRESSES 1 2 0 3
TABLA BOLS
Dha dhin dhin
dha
1 2 3 4
Dha dhin dhin
dha
5 6 7 8
Dha thin thin tha
9 10 11 12
Tha dhin dhin dha
13 14 15 16
DANCE BOLS
Tha a Thei
ee

Thei ee that th Aa a thei ee Thei ee tha th
For every two tabla beats, there is just one dance beat.
4 Divisions, 16 beats.
Clapping is called Thaali.
5
th
dance beat or 9
th
tabla beat is Khaali denoted by 0.
While couting, to avoid confusion,generally Khaali is used with which we can
easily identify that it is 9
th
beat.
Jaipur gharana Is noted for the brilliance of its Tatkaar.
REPERTOIRE
Ganesh Vandana
Guru Vandana
Rangmanch Ka Tukda
Salami
Uthan
Thata
Amad
Gata
Gata Nikas
Gata Bhav
Kavitt
Toda
Tukda
REPERTOIRE
Parana
Dadara
Ghazal
Thumri
Tandava
Tiravata
Tarana
REPERTOIRE
Kathak repertoire comprises of both Nritta and Abhinaya.
While Nritta part involves Tora,Tukra, Parana, Amad etc,
Abhinaya part involves Gat Bhaav, Kavitt, Thumri, Ghazals,
Keertans, Bhajans etc.
The nritta portions of Kathak are presented to a repetitive melodic
line known as Nagma.
Items like Vandana fall under the category of Nritya.
Dadra is another type of musical composition which is used for
abhinaya in Kathak.
LADI
SCINTILLATING CHAKKARS-UNIQUE FEATURE OF KATHAK
UPAJ , AMAD AND CHAKKARS
CONCLUSION
Kathak,being one of the most appealing dance forms of
the world, changed and styled along with the changing
society.
Initially, it was just abhinaya by Kathakars which later
added many interesting elements to it.
Kathak is a very toned down style with minimal hastas
and very close to the reality since it has influences of
Islam.
It is no less to any art form in the world sharing
similarities with Western dances like Tap dance.
Many experiments and new chreographies were done,
being done and new age artists are leading it in a very
dignified manner.
REFERENCES
Indias Kathak Dance , Past , Present and Future Book by Reginald Massey.
Indian Classical Dance Book By Kapila Vatsayan.
Bharatiya Sastriya Nrutyalu Book By Aruna Bhikshu.
http://www.birjumaharaj-kalashram.com/pbm/persona/ancestors.htm
http://www.gaurijog.com/kathak-jaipur-gharana.html
http://www.gaurijog.com/kathak-beneras-gharana.html