Pakistani Culture Will Not Be Complete Without Kathak Dance

Published October 14th, 2021 - 07:02 GMT
Senior renowned kathak artist
Senior renowned kathak artist (Shutterstock)
Highlights
How to preserve classical Indian dance form, and with it, part of Pakistan's history and identity?

The rhythmic sound of the poetic verses of Surdas bhajans leaves you enchanted, as you enter kathak workshop.

Dance has been an important part of most cultures from their earliest times. Before the introduction of written languages, dance was one of the primary methods of passing stories and rituals down from generation to generation.

Pakistan is not different from the rest of the world.

There is a range of dance forms in this country that reflect the different cultures. Dance styles are plentiful across all the regions of this vast country and include a beautiful variety of folk as well as classical. 

Popular traditional folk dances include the bhangra (an explosive dance developed in Punjab) and kathak steps.

Learning any dance form is an intensive process. The same applies to Kathak. The combination of movements comes easily only after thorough practice

Kathak is one of the eight major forms of Indian classical dance. The origin of Kathak is traditionally attributed to the traveling bards in ancient northern India known as Kathakars or storytellers.

The story of Kathak begins in ancient times. According to Wikipedia, the term Kathak is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit word Katha which means "story", and Kathakar which means "the one who tells a story", or "to do with stories".

During the Mughal reign in India, Kathak went through its greatest transformation. Mughal emperors and princes sent for dancers, musicians, and other entertainers from Persia and Central Asia for entertainment in their courts. 

Kathak is often a dance of love. It is performed by both men and women. The movements include intricate footwork accented by bells worn around the ankles and stylized gestures adapted from normal body language.

Kathak is not only focused on storytelling; it is also a highly mathematical dance, based on rhythmic patterns set against a musical cycle of sixteen beats. 

Some movements are universal and recognized by people around the world, while others are unique to the region or people to which it belongs. 


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