in the North as a classical dance form, Kathak
has a long history. Nurtured in the holy precincts of the Hindu temples,
Kathak has over
the centuries attained refinement and enriched itself with various hues
and embellishments. Kathak
means a story teller and it developed as a dance form in which a solo dancer
tells and interprets stories from mythology.
In nritya, the expressional numbers called gats are danced by delicate glances of the eye and by using the art of mime. Themes from life are taken like enacting simple chores of carrying water from the well or walking gracefully, covering a face with a veil and looking through it in a tantalising manner at the lover.
Also, to the lyrics, expressions are shown evoking the rasa or emotion in the spectators, who, if the musical traditions are shared along with the songs, enjoy it by expressing their appreciation with a round of applause.
The themes of Krishna, Radha, Shiva, Parvati and mythological characters find a prominent place in the Kathak dancerís repertoire. Nowadays, experiments are being carried out with group choreography exploring the dance form. Both men and women perform Kathak which is also used to present dance dramas of historical tales and contemporary events.