Katha Kahe so Kathak...
Kathak comes from Katha, the story, and signifies the storytelling. Kathak originated in the temples of North India, around 400 years ago, where the storytellers, the Kathik Brahmins (Kirtankars), used to narrate mythological stories from the great Indian epics to the people. In its earlier form, Kathak was nothing but spontaneous movements and gestures done by the storytellers while telling the stories. However, Kathak flourished as a dance and got stylized as a performing art in the courts of Mughal Emperors.
Its interesting that Kathak, in spite of being under the influence of Mughal Culture, remained unaltered in its purpose of worshipping lord Krishna through dance. Credit, for this goes to the Legends like Kalka Maharaj jee & Bindadeen Maharaj jee, ancestors of Kathak. Performing art in India has been a path to reach the Lord, Almighty for attaining the highest order of ecstasy.
Kathak mesmerizes spectators with spellbinding natural hand gestures, stylized movements and intricate footwork. The torch-bearer of Lucknow tradition Pandit Birju Maharaj-jee has worked remarkably and brought new dimensions to Kathak with refined and renewed techniques. His enormous and invaluable contribution towards Kathak is incredible. In fact, he is Kathak himself!
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