Kathak dance performance in Raag Darbari

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75th Birthday Celebrations of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
March 1998 – Delhi, INDIA

About Kathak Dance

Kathak  is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from northern India. This dance form traces its origins to the the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or story tellers. These bards, performing in village squares and temple courtyards, mostly specialized in recounting mythological and moral tales from the scriptures, and embellished their recitals with hand gestures and facial expressions. It was quintessential theatre, using instrumental and vocal music along with stylized gestures, to enliven the stories.

The structure of a conventional Kathak performance tends to follow a progression in tempo from slow to fast, ending with a dramatic climax. A short danced composition is known as a tukra, a longer one as a toda. There are also compositions consisting solely of footwork. Often the performer will engage in rhythmic ‘play’ with the time-cycle, splitting it into triplets or quintuplets for example, which will be marked out on the footwork, so that it is in counterpoint to the rhythm on the percussion.

All compositions are performed so that the final step and beat of the composition lands on the ‘sam’ or first beat of the time-cycle. Most compositions also have ‘bols’ (rhythmic words) which serve both as mnemonics to the composition and whose recitation also forms an integral part of the performance. Some compositions are aurally very interesting when presented this way. The bols can be borrowed from tabla (e.g. dha, ge, na, tirakiTa) or can be a dance variety (ta, thei, tat, ta ta, tigda, digdig and so on).

source: wikipedia.org

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2 comment(s) so far, want to say something now?


  • Surya
    Apr 21, 2009
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    Watch this one – its really fun! And the music is nice to listen to also. 🙂

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    1

  • Jagruti
    Apr 22, 2009
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    such a therapeutic raga!

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