Kathak word is a simplified verson of sanskrit word Katthaka (A story teller). In ancient times Kathakka used narrate stories from epics, myths and legends village squares and temple courtyards. Hence, traces of religion and morals are still alive in Kathak.
Histroy suggests its evolution, as an oral story telling tradition. Mime and gestures were perhaps added gradually to spellbound the listeners. In Mugal era (16th Century) kathak got some features of Persian and Central Asian dance which were imported by the royal court. It is being passed from generations to generations as inheritance and Guru-Chela Tradition (ancient teacher - student trend). A solo interpretation of mythological stories became a trend in Kathak. Variations are developed by teachers.
While the abstract exploration of rhythm and movement takes away audience's breath, expressions evoking the rasas(mood/emotion) and delicate glances of eyes with elegant gestures of bodycreates soothing magic. The expressional numbers in Kathak are called Gats which are danced by delicate glances of the eye and by using the art of mime. Themes from life are taken like enacting simple chores of carrying water from the well or walking gracefully, covering a face with a veil and looking through it in a tantalizing manner at the lover. Also, to the lyrics, expressions are shown evoking the rasa(mood/emotion) in the spectators, who, if the musical traditions are shared along with the songs, enjoy it by expressing their appreciation.
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