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December 31, 2018

‘Kathak still most popular dance in the world’


December 31, 2018

LAHORE : “Kathak is the only classical dance form which is still evolving, absorbing new influences and redefining itself with the passage of every decade, that’s why it is one of the most popular traditional dance art in the world and most importantly Kathak is a secular art form.

It does not have any boundary, specific religion or a particular area. Kathak’s roots can be traced back to 400BC; however, it evolved significantly and became a refined art form in the 10th century”, said the well-known cultural commentator and writer Ally Adnan while talking about the art of Katha and Kathak in an enriching conversation session with students at the Institute for Art and Culture (IAC).

Talking about conventional dance forms, Ally said that the Bharatnatium and Odissi are very rigid art forms in comparison with Kathak, which had great influence from Muslim civilisation as well. He added that Kathak gained esthetic beauty during the Mughal rule. Its intricate costumes, including Pishwas and Angrakha, music instruments, Salami or Aamad and Sufi elements are major Mughal ingredients which enriched this art form. Viewers can find the specter of Mughal courts, ethos of Hindu temples, philosophy of Sufism, beliefs of Muslims, poetry, literature, dance and music of Pakistan and India and the whole world in this dance form.

During the conversation, Ally Adnan also screened some remarkable performances to highlight the basic techniques and patterns of Kathak. During the question answer session with the students, he said there was no music instrument in the classic form of Kathak; oral rendition was the main source for communication. Kathak dancers tell various stories through their hand movements and footwork but most importantly through their facial expressions.

Modern Kathak dancers emphasise more on exploration of conventional compositions as new compositions have very strict rules of Taal, Jati and Gharanas. While shedding light on Kathak’s journey in Pakistan, Ally Adnan informed the students that Maharaj Ghulam Hussain Kathak was a great performer, whose art was full with balance and esthetics, and he used his mind effectively during his performances.

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