KATHAK

Kathak is one of the eight major classical Indian dance forms and is the principal classical dance of North India. The word kathak means "to tell a story" and is derived from the dance dramas of ancient India. During the Mughal era, there was a change in emphasis from that of telling religious stories to one of entertainment. Today, the dance is an abstract exploration of rhythm and movement, involving complex footwork and pirouettes executed at lightening speed, matched by accompanying percussion instruments such as the table and pakhawaj. Lucknow, Jaipur and Banaras are recognized as the three schools of Kathak where the interpretative and rhythmic aspects of the dance have been refined to a very high standard.