“When I put on my ghungroos, one fifty, on every lower leg, I lift off my feet to dance and lose myself to the symphony in happiness that, maybe, nobody can feel! Kathak rules me!”
Kathak is one of the fundamental kinds of antiquated Indian classical dance and is customarily respected to have begun from the voyaging minstrels of North India alluded as Kathakars or storytellers. The ambient sounds, in the vocal or instrumental frame, creases together the story that is joined by aharya. This genre was created amid the Bhakti movement stages of the Indian Vedic History. Kathak is fine art in light of quick footwork and considerably quick chakkars (pirouettes).
There are 3 three Gharanas (schools) in Kathak, which for the most part vary in accentuation given to footwork, they are; the Jaipur Gharana, the Benaras Gharana and the Lucknow Gharana The foundations of this dance form follows back to Vedic Sanskrit Hindu content on performing expressions called ‘Natya Shastra’ composed by old Indian theatrologist and musicologist ‘Bharata’ Muni.
Kathak is portrayed by mind-boggling footwork and exact cadenced examples that the artist explains by controlling around 100 lower leg chimes (ghungru) and delightful outfits. It takes its developments from life, adapts them, and includes the complex cadenced examples. ‘Devdas’ was the underlying purposeful publicity to promote this dance form, and maybe the spellbinding chakkars or the scary quick footwork, taal, was the start to spark a Kathak artist’s fire. As this lovely dance shape is prominent both in Hindu and Muslim cultures, the costume of this dance form is made in accordance with conventions of the separate groups. There are two sorts of Hindu outfits for female artists, one which incorporates a sari worn in a remarkable manner complimented with a choli that covers the abdominal area and an orhni worn in a few places, the other ensemble incorporates a weaved skirt with a choli and a straightforward orhni, this outfit has been in practice since quite some time. The ensemble is very much complimented with customary jewellery, normally gold, that incorporates the ones embellishing the dancer’s hair, nose, ear, neck and hand.
Melodic anklets called ghunghru (little metallic chimes) is wrapped on artist’s lower legs that deliver cadenced sound while she/he performs brilliant and fabulous footwork, and the detailed yet bold face make-up put on by the artist helps feature her outward appearances and brings forward every expression with a mesmerizing grace. Hindu male Kathak artists normally wear a silk dhoti with a silk scarf tied on the upper part of the body which more often than not stays uncovered or may get secured by a free coat. Gems and jewellery of male artists are very basic in contrast with their female partners and are generally made of stone. The outfit for Muslim female artists incorporates a skirt alongside a tight fitting pant called churidar and a long coat to cover the abdominal area and hands. A scarf covering the head compliments the entire clothing which is finished with light adornments.
A Kathak performance may incorporate numerous established instruments depending more on the impact and profundity required. Nonetheless, a few instruments are commonly utilized as a part of a Kathak performance like the tabla that blends well with the cadenced foot movement of the artist and regularly mirrors the sound of the footwork developments or the other way around to make a splendid jugalbandi. This old classical dance form that was significantly connected with Hindu sagas was very much recognized by the courts and nobles of the Mughal period. Impromptu creations were made by the artists to engage the Muslim onlookers with exotic and sexual exhibitions.
In the long run, Central Asian and Persian subjects became a part of its collection. When the frontier European authorities touched base in India, Kathak then ended up being noticeably acclaimed as a court attraction and was to a greater degree a combination of old Indian traditional dance form and Persian-Central Asian dance form with the artists being alluded as ‘nautch young ladies’.
Kathak was also connected with an organization known as the tawaif. This is a much-misconstrued organization of female performers. It is also said that it was basic for rulers to send their kids to the tawaifs for direction in decorum. This set the work of art of Kathak into a downward spiral that was not turned around until Independence when there was a stirring in enthusiasm for customary Indian fine arts.
Kathak is really one of a kind, a muddled dance form that is aced by the artist who passes on the message through her moves and expressions. An artist may neglect their identity as a human while performing and may centre around the detail of the real move. Interestingly, when the artist performs kathak, her/his dance can pass on even the most minuscule of stories.
Kathak is a jolt to the senses that influences the body and broadens the consciousness!!