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Urban Development

  • Date Submitted: 01/05/2013 09:53 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 29.8 
  • Words: 347
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Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Northern India, India. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers. From the 16th century onwards it absorbed certain features of Persian dance and central asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era.
The name Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story, and katthaka in Sanskrit means he who tells a story, or to do with 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 dance 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, for example splitting it into triplets or quintuplets which will be marked out on the footwork, so that it is in counterpoint to the rhythm on the percussion.
Aside from the traditional expressive or abhinaya pieces performed to a bhajan, ghazal or thumri, Kathak also possesses a particular performance style of expressional pieces called bhaav bataanaa (lit. 'to show bhaav or 'feeling'). It is a mode where abhinaya dominates, and arose in the Mughal court. It is more suited to the mehfil or the darbarenvironment, because of the proximity of the performer to the audience, who can more easily see the nuances of the dancer's facial expression. Consequently, it translates to the modern proscenium stage with difficulty. A thumri is sung, and once the mood is set, a line from the thumri is interpreted with facial abhinaya and hand movements while seated. This continues for an indefinite period, limited only by the dancer's interpretative abilities. Shambhu Maharaj was known to interpret a single line in many different ways for hours but all the Maharaj family (Acchan Maharaj, Lachhu Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj and Achhan...

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