Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian Classical dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh, India. As mentioned in famous phrase "katha kahe so kathak kahave" the one who tells the story is a Kathak); this dance form traces its roots from the tradition of storytellers.
Natya Shastra by Bharat and Abhinay Darpan by Nandikeshwar are the guiding scripts for the technique (Nritta) and expressive part (Nritya) of this dance form.
The structure of a conventional Kathak performance tends to follow a progression in tempo from slow to fast, ending with a dramatic climax. Rhythmic footwork, types of spins and suggestive, subtle expression are the fortes of Kathak. 'Ghungroo' (The Bells) tied to ankles are essential for creating musical sound patterns during Kathak performance. Live Kathak performance is always accompanied by North Indian classical music orchestra. The orchestra includes Tabla (The percussion instrument), Flute (The wind instrument), Sarangi (The string instrument) or Harmonium , Padhant (The person who continuosly recites dance language and keeps track of Taal which is cycle of beats).
Names of few Legendary Kathak Dancers from India
- Pt. Birju Maharaj
- Lt.Pt. Rohini Bhate
- Kumudini Lakhia
- Rajendra Gangani
- Chitresh Das
- Uma Dogra