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Kathak Dance

Out of the eight dance forms of the Indian Classical dances, Kathak is one of them originated from the nomadic bards of the ancient north India who were known as the Kathakars or the storytellers. It has traces of the bhakti movement, ritual dances and the temples.

Kathak is a Sanskrit word that means story and the one who narrates the story. This dance form has major gharanas; Gharana of Jaipur, Lucknow and Benaras.


This dance form is basically dedicated and performed for the Hindu Gods and earlier used to be performed only in temples and then slowly moved its base to the courts of the rulers like the Nawabs and the Maharajas of the Hindu mythology. This was considered as a royal and lavish entertainment for these nawabs and maharajas. Also the zamindars used to take this dance form as a source of entertainment. This dance form grew and flourished in the Jaipuir Gharana in Rajasthan which was only pure dancing and focused more on the expressions and the technicalities of the dance form.

Performance of Kathak Dance

This dance form involves very strict and intricate foot-work and pure dancing is the essence of this traditional dance form where rhythmic patterns are formed by flat heels and the controlled sound of the ghungroos worn by the dancer. The percussion instrument played during this dance form is the most important. The soft movements of the neck that glides, the wrists and the eyebrows makes this dance form even more beautiful and difficult to perform. It is then followed by the dance sequences named Amad and the Salami.

Many rhythmic passages are a part of this dance form with a number of pirouettes and are the most characteristic feature in this dance style during the nritta portions. Expressions play a very important role in this dance form as the dancer takes a pause to mime and enact the portion of nritta. Repetitive yet melodic lines make this dance form a delight to watch. 16, 10 and the 14 beats of the table is the base on which the whole performance is weaved on.

Kathak Dance Elements

The elements of Kathak are very intricate and delicate and it involves a lot of mudras, footwork, expressions, traditional and beautiful clothes and costumes and matching jewels to compliment the whole set up.

Occasions for Kathak Dance

This dance form is an amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim art form which has emerged as a distinct dance form. A lot of practice, training and dedication to dance go into mastering this art and this dance is basically performed before the start of any function.

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