Qu’est-ce que Kathak? What is Kathak?

Birju Maharaj Kathak Dancer
Image by ramesh_lalwani via Flickr

More to follow soon

The technique of Kathak today is characterized by fast rhythmic footwork set to complex time cycles. The footwork is matched by the accompanying percussion instruments such as tabla and pakhawaj, and the dancer and percussionists often indulge in a virtuoso display of rhythmic wizardry.The dance movements include numerous pirouettes execed at lightning speed and ending in statuesque poses. The interpretative portion, based on tales of Radha and Krishna and other mythological lore, contains subtle gestures and facial expressions. Lucknow, Banaras and Jaipur are recognized as the three schools, or gharanas, where this art was nurtured and where the interpretative and rhythmic aspects were refined to a high art.

My Gurus
Pt Chitresh Das
Bharatiya Kala Kendra,
Padmabhibhushan Birju Maharaj
Padmashri Kumidini Lakhias

>>In the above photo: Pandit Birju Maharaj<<

A special thanks to Delhi-based photographer Ramesh Lalwani (he has published three photography books) for letting me use this photo.  Please see ou new page featuring his wonderful photos of Dance In India.

Brijmohan Nath Mishra popularly known as Pandit Birju Maharaj (born February 4, 1938) is currently the leading exponent of the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance in India.He is a descendant of the legendary Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, including his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj. Even though dancing is his first love, he also has an excellent command over Hindustani classical music and is an accomplished vocalist as well. He took Kathak to new heights by choreographing new Kathak dance dramas. He has toured extensively across the globe, given thousands of performances and held hundreds of workshops for kathak students.(Souce Wikipedia)

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