NatyaSutraOnline is an attempt to permanently preserve the rich classical dance and music heritage of India. Our dream is to provide 24/7 online access to personalized lectures, tutorials, dance classes, and performances of all Indian classical dance forms.
The dance form Kathak draws its name from the word ‘Katha’, which means a ‘story’. Kathak dancers are ancient storytellers who bring the past to life. They take our fables and dreams and represent it in a colorful way on stage. They represent the vanguard that preserves and cultivates our heritage, passed down via moves that have survived for thousands of years.
History of Kathak
The earliest accounts of Kathak appear to be from 430 B.C.E. The original performers were called Kathakas, who were a nomadic tribe of artisans. They would travel from village to village, serenading the local populace with famous and interesting stories from Indian Mythology. The Sage Bharata included many of the fundamental traits of Kathak in his legendary Natyashastra, the fifth Veda. Over the course of time, Kathak would evolve from a roadshow to court performances to eventually turning in an art form performed on stage.
Styles of Kathak
A traditional performance begins with a Vandana. This sacred invocation is the artisan’s opportunity to express gratitude to the heavens and the teachers who have guided them to this point. This is followed by either the Nritta or Nritya styles, where the emphasis tends to be on facial expressions and specific gestures.
The Jaipur, Banaras and Lucknow Gharanas are primary influencers on Kathak. A Gharana is literally a ‘school of thought’ that approaches the art form in its own distinct way. The Jaipur Gharana focusses more on elaborate footwork, while Nritya style is more associated with the Lucknow Gharana where the emphasis is on facial expression. The pure dance format or Nritta is considered the expertise of the Banaras Gharana.
As time passed, Kathak has evolved with its practitioners, who have taken this art form to various corners of the globe. Today, it is one of India’s foremost cultural exports. Tales of our traditions and our divine entities are today being performed and witnessed by the entire planet. Kathak truly represents the perfect example of an artform versatile enough to survive changes in cultural and social preferences.
The effect of the spring season on humans, Nature and divine beings were described in the Lalitha Lavanga (Viharathi Haririha), the 3rd prabandh of Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda in Kathak. Through Explanations, Interpretations, Teaching and Performance, Pali Chandra shows a range of choreographic moves inspired by her reading of Natyashastra and Abhinaya Darpana.
Guru Dr Pali Chandra pays homage to Radha’s depiction of Lord Krishna’s mesmerising form in the Sancharad Adhara (Rase Harimiha), the 5th prabandh of Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda in Kathak. Through Explanations, Interpretations, Teaching and Performance, she shows a range of choreographic moves inspired by her reading of Natyasastra and Abhinaya Darpana.
Guru Dr Pali Chandra shows how the varied moods and madness of Radha in the 12th prabandh, song Pashyati Dishi Dishi (Natha Hare Jagannatha Hare), of Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda can be presented in Kathak. Through Explanations, Interpretations, Teaching and Performance, she shows a range of choreographic moves, inspired by her reading of Natyasastra and Abhinaya Darpana, and also suggests improvisations .
Learn Begum Akhtar's famous Ghazal Woh Jo Hum Mein Tum Mein Qarar Tha. Kathak maestro Guru Dr Pali Chandra guides students through the various layers of this composition, exploring Begum’s nuanced take on love that is mature enough to accept not being acknowledged.
Let us bring to life the eternal bond between Lord Krishna and Radha through an age old classic Kanha Main Tose Haari... Learn the storytelling techniques, performance-related pointers and the nuances of this choreography using three arms of Kathak - Kavit, Thumri and Gat-bhav.
This Kathak online class by Guru Pali Chandra introduces a new Thumri Dagar Chalat, originally written by the legendary Guru Bindadin Maharaj of the Lucknow Gharana. Thumri's individual components - Shabdarth, Vyakhyarth, Sthayi bhav and Sanchari bhav are explained in detail.
Learn Payalia Tarana Online, a Kathak Composition by Guru Pali Chandra. This composition, Payaliya Jhankar Mori is a combination of Hindu and Persian cultures. A thumri is introduced at the beginning of this Tarana.
This class represents the second stage in the online Kathak series offered Guru Pali Chandra. This is a continuation of the beginner’s Kathak course available on NatyaSutraOnline.
Om Jayanti Mangala Kali is a special prayer in honor of Goddess Durga. Guru Pali Chandra presents the fortifying power of the Goddess, an amalgamation designed by a host of divine beings.
गुरु पाली चंद्रा के मार्गदर्शन से जाने कथक को ऑनलाइन। अत्याधुनिक विकल्पों तथा नवीनतम तकनीकों से रचना की गई है इस ऑनलाइन कार्यक्रम को जो कथक की नृत्य शैली को सीखने और जानने की प्रबल इच्छा रखते हैं।
These classes are for absolute beginners to Kathak. Guru Pali Chandra aims at establishing the foundation among her disciples, and nudge them onto the path of becoming a full-fledged Kathak dancer.