Style: Kathak Dance | When: September 5-7, 2013 (Yes, it was a while back. Sorry for the delay!) | Where: Varanasi, India | Format: private classes | Instructor: Madhu
Last thing I did before leaving India was to take 3 classes of Kathak dance.
My instructor, Madhu taught me some basic steps and a short combo called “Salaam”. A piece that was traditionally performed as a salutation by Hindu dancers performing in front of Muslim audience. I took videos, but the classroom was very dark.
It’s interesting how Indian culture is usually so laid back, but when it comes to their art they are total perfectionists. Every finger should be in the right position. I really love that about Indian dance.
Varanasi itself was too busy, crowded and confusing for me, so I just had to leave… otherwise I would have stayed and taken more classes. From there I left straight to Nepal which will be my next post.
A little bit about Kathak
Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from India. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers. Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of the bhakti movement. From the 16th century onwards it absorbed certain features of Persian dance and central Asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era.
There are many striking similarities between Kathak and Flamenco, a southern Spanish dance style that received much influence from the local gypsies, most notably in the lack of much deviation from the vertical axis, percussive footwork, and dependence on (sometimes complex) rhythmic cycles. (Source: Wikipedia)
For more information here are some Kathak DVD’s