KATHAK

Kathak, an Indian Classical Dance form, is the culmination of years of varied cultural influences on the art that emanated from the story-tellers of the ancient temples.

Kathak contains traces of temple and ritual dances, along with certain features of Persian and Central Asian dances. Intricate footwork and spins, as well as abhinaya, the art of expression, are the highlights of Kathak.

The name Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story.


The most striking thing about Kathak in comparison with the other dance styles is the impression it creates of extreme subtlety.
— Rina Singha and Reginald Massey in 'Indian Dances: Their History and Growth'

GLOSSARY

  • Tāl: Rhythmic time-cycle.

  • Mātrā: Beat, Unit of measuring duration of a Tāl

  • Ᾱvartan: One cycle of a Tāl

  • Sam: The first beat of a Tāl 

  • Vibhāg: The divisions of a Tāl

  • Tāli: literally: ‘clap’. Used to show the accented beat in a Tāl.

  • Khāli: literally: ‘empty’. A blank beat, negative accent in a Tāl.

  • Tablā: A percussion instrument often used as an accompaniment to Kathak dance. It is comprised of two drums. 

  • Bol: A Bol is a sound or syllable. Helps identify and recite rhythms.

  • Thekā: Thekā is the Tablā bol for a Tāl.

  • Laya: Laya means tempo. Duration between beats determines Laya of a Tāl or a Tāl based composition.

  • Tatkār: Dance syllables produced from stomping. Basic footwork  for a Tāl.

  • Parhant: Recitation of bols of a composition indicating beats of a Tāl.

  • Torā: A group of bols or syllables that starts and ends on sam.

  • Kavitt: A Torā based on a poem. It is composed of bols that have meaning.

  • Tihāi: A rhythmic pattern that repeats three times.

  • Lari: A chain of footwork patterns, ends with a tihāi

  • Chakkar/ Pheri: literally: spin. The Chakkar in Kathak is performed on the heel. 


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KATHAK QUIZ - AUG 2018

TRUE or FALSE 

(1)  Lasya literally means 'peacock'. In this gesture all fingers are kept close to one another.

(2)  Tāl movements are forceful and vigorous.

(3)  The first beat of any Tāl is called Sam

(4)  A Tāl has a fixed tempo.

(5)  Āvartan is a cycle of a Tāl

(6)  Dādrā is a 15 beat rhythmic time cycle.

(7)   Āngika Abhinaya is considered to be the most complete form of Abhinaya

(8)  The Benaras Gharana of Kathak was founded by Pt. Durga Lal

(9)  Lari always ends with a Kavitt

(10)  Cool down includes pace control, breathing and long stretches


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