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Kathak is one of the eight major forms of Indian classical dance. This dance originated in ancient northern India from the dances of traveling bards, known as Kathakars. Since then, Kathak has spread to many parts of the world. The dance is one of the most popular types of dance in India and is performed by many companies and organizations.
Vandana Kathak is a performer and teacher specializing in Kathak dance. Her experience spans 35 years. She is a double MA in Kathak and teaches classes on the subject in her home studio or online. She also teaches Hindi and English. She describes herself as an enthusiastic learner, with a passion for the performing arts.
The dance form originated in Northern India, and is characterized by freedom of movement. It consists of twelve sections, beginning with the vandana (a Sanskrit prayer), and ending with the tatkar (footwork) section. This dance form is a theatrical art that is based on stories from Hindu gods and goddesses, including Radha and Krishna. It is a devotional art form that draws inspiration from the devotional love poetry and literature of medieval India.
Kathak is a classical dance from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Its origins can be traced back to traveling bards in ancient northern India, known as Kathakars. The dance is one of the eight major forms of classical Indian dance. Its unique style of expression and grace have made it one of the most popular forms of dance in the world.
The dance is characterized by rhythmic footwork, hand gestures, and eye work. It has a courtly feel and is highly spiritual.
Known for her groundbreaking modern choreography, Kumudini has been credited with the birth of modern Kathak dance. Although her work was controversial thirty years ago, it continues to inspire new and innovative approaches to the dance. This book explores the life and legacy of the Kathak dance pioneer.
Kumudini Lakhia's artistic development was aided by the acquisition of her student Sandhya in 1962. Sandhya's husband, Atul, was well-versed in music and he became Kumudini's music composer. The collaboration was long-lasting and innovative. Atul was sensitive to the musicality of every movement in Kumudini's choreography. The result was music and movement that were in constant interaction with each other.
In 1971, Kumudini Lakhia was one of the most influential Kathak dancers in the world. She was a pioneer in many ways, including presenting classical dance without stage make-up and traditional footwork. Her solo performance 'Duvidha' marked an important turning point in Kathak dance.
Pandit Birju Maharaj
Pandit Birju Maharaj was an Indian dancer, composer and singer who was an exponent of the Lucknow "Kalka-Bindadin" Gharana of Kathak dance in India. He was descended from a long line of Kathak dancers in the Maharaj family.
He spent the last few decades of his life in Delhi. He was born in Lucknow, where his father, Acchan Maharaj, recognized his talent for Kathak. His uncles started teaching him at an early age. They would often take him to the Regal Cinema, which would eventually become a landmark for him. In later years, Pandit Birju spent time in his home in Lutyens' Delhi.
Birju Maharaj's style of Kathak merged elements of both his father and his uncles' styles. He claimed to have inherited his father's precision in footwork and face-playing ability and his uncles' stylized fluidity of movement. He made the dance form an expressive vehicle to express non-mythological issues. In addition to his choreography and dance, he also popularized dance-dramas.
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