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Kathak Dance

About Kathak Dance

Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dance and traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers.These storytellers performed in village squares and temple courtyards, and specialized in spiritual, mythological and moral tales from the scriptures, and embellished their recitals with hand gestures and facial expressions.Today, its form contains traces of temple and ritual dance, and is expressive of the bhakti movement.From the 16th century Kathak absorbed certain features of Persian dance and Central Asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era

There are three major gharanas (schools) of Kathak: the gharanas of Benares, Jaipur and Lucknow; there is also the Raigarh gharana which amalgamated techniques from all three major gharanas but has became famous for its own distinctive compositions.

The name Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story. In Sanskrit the word katthaka means “one who tells a story”.

To the right are three great modern masters of Kathak: Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Rajendra Gangani, and Pandit Durga Lal.

Nupur Academy Kathak Gallery

Below are photographs from our performances.