Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances. Kathak originated from North India. The word Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha or story. In Sanskrit, katthaka means a person who tells a story. In the ancient times, people recited or sang stories from epics and mythology with some elements of dance. Such a tradition has transformed to the modern day Kathak.
Kathak dance declined during the rule of the British Empire. But, it has regained its popularity these days. Kathak is popular for it’s expressive progression in tempo from slow to fast, ending with a dramatic climax.
Three major schools (gharanas) of Kathak are:
- Jaipur (born in the courts of the Kachwaha Rajput kings)
- Lucknow (born in the courts of the Nawab of Oudh)
- Benares (born in Varanasi)