Kathak word is derive from word katha which means story. In Kathak, there is also a Kattahaka which is also call as story teller. Origin of kathak dance is in North India mainly in Uttar Pradesh region. Initially it was a temple dance but later it got royal patronage for court entertainment. There is a spontaneity in this dance style. Which also shows freedom in the dance style. There is always a room for innovation and improvisation.
There are three main gharana of khatak dance. Viz
- Lucknow gharana.
- Banaras gharana.
- Jaipur gharana.
Khatak dance is based on bhaav, raga and also on the taal elements. In this style usually dancers sings themselves. Fundamentally kathak is a solo performance.
Main feature of kathak dance is Jugalbandi which is between dancer and tabla player. Theme of this dance are Radha Krishna. In this style dance starts from slow progress to fast pace. There is also main focus on footwork, spins, abhinay and also on expressions. Kathak is performed on Hindustani music provided by tabla, sitar and santoor etc. singing part is known as TODA.
Female dancers costume includes lehenga choli and chudidaar kameez. While male dancers costume include bare chest, dhoti or kurta chudidaar.
Birju maharaj, Lachchhu maharaj and sitara devi are the famous performer of kathak dance. Kathak Dance in some region also known as Gatbhaav.