UNDERSTANDING KATHAK

A very happy New Year to everyone! It has been almost a year since I published this blog. Started with a simple urge to share what I had learnt, today I am overwhelmed with the response I get for my posts. My sincere thanks for the motivation!

The last year wound up with the theory examinations being held for many students . As I observed children preparing for these exams, I felt a wee bit concerned with the importance they attributed to this aspect of dance.

I feel understanding Kathak and its nuances is as important as physically dancing ,sometimes even more so because until we are able to grasp the significance and align our steps to the narration of kathak, the grace and beauty of the recital eludes us. For example , when we understand the mudras used , the meaning and the purpose of an ‘aamad’ or a ‘namaskaar’ only then can we do justice to the piece. The knowledge that an ‘aamad’ is a welcoming piece and the ‘namaskaar’ translates to a salutation helps us emote better and share a connect with the audience.

Hence the need to know the history of this dance form, its various aspects, eminent dancers and their styles and everything related. I think we can choreograph and perform better if the ‘concept’ of kathak is clear to us. Dance is a form of expression . We can express what we know . So it is imperative for students of kathak to have a thorough knowledge of the theory involved. I guess this is the reason why, for students who appear for dance examinations , the theory knowledge is always tested.

I urge students to find out the implication of every piece they dance, every mudra they use and to be conversant with the ‘taal’ , ‘laya’ in which they perform.I am sure this practice would increase their joy in dancing immensely . It would also make the theory examinations seem a little bit easier!

Happy dancing , and may the quest to understand kathak continue…….


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