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Kathak (Shovana Narayan)
Kathak (Shovana Narayan)
Description
from The Jacket
Kathak, north India's most popular dance from, originated in the Indo-Gangetic plains. This text on Kathak provides an excellent overview of the form, incorporating a wealth of information on its origin and salient features. Tracing its over 2000-year-old history, it answers many of the questions that frequently plague interested viewers as well as connoisseurs. It corrects and puts into proper perspective, a number of misconceptions that me related to the dance form.

Honoured with the Padmashri in 1999-2000 for her far-reaching contribution to Kathak, Shovana Narayan has imparted a philosophical and rich textural hue to the age-old tradition. She has taken it out of its narrow confines and imparted it gravity and depth in content, performed with dignity and ennoblement. Shovana's published works include, Kathak: Rhythmic Echoes & Reflections and The Dance Legacy of Patliputra.

Editor's Note
As a child I remember being dragged to dance class at a time when I wanted nothing better than play in the park with my friends. My exasperated parents gave up after a while. Then at the threshold of adulthood, I happened to attend a performance of Gopi Krishna, who was batter known as the dance guru of film stars. The purists looked down upon him for selling his artistic soul to Bollywood and none were willing to take seriously. His bare, hairless body, over-painted face put me off. But the moment he started dancing. I did a double take. For with each step that he took of his highly ghungrooed feet, it seemed as if he help my entire being spellbound. Unblinking, I sat in the shamiyana, awash with the sheer beauty of his dance. Every molecule of his body personified dance. I still get goose pimples thinking about that experience, so vivid it is in my mind. He had sown the seed.

I took up Kathak, much against my parents' wishes, for kathak for girls of 'good' families was an absolute no, no. They even went to the then director of Kathak kendra, Keshav Kothari, requesting him to throw me out. But thank God, Keshavji was able to convince them that it was not so bad after all and to let me continue. Still, my learning Kathak was something that was not discussed at home. I remember wrapping my ghungroos in a cloth bag before entering the house lest they make a sound! May have come nowhere near becoming a Tansen, but I sure became a good kansen!

The quest for perfection of the dance from ended when I saw the composite astiste, maestro Birju Maharaj, who has single-handedly altered collective perception about Kathak with the aesthetics of his personal andaaz or style. His style of Lucknow gharana has come to dominate the field to such an extent that performers of Jaipur, Banaras and Raigarh gharana acknowledge in private that they have to acquiesce to it order to stay afloat. He has become the veritable matrix through which all that is Kathak must pass. This and the fact that he has arguably the largest number of shishyas or disciples who have knowingly or unknowingly perpetrated this. There were days when I used to sit in his dance class just to see him teach others! He is truly an amazing artiste: Performer, singer, musician, composer, choreographer, guru - the Gods have really smiled.

The author of this book, Shovana, too is an artiste who has consistently endeavoured to explore the various dimension of the form - ever willing to try something new, hers has been a significant contribution in the intellectual pursuit of tracing the form's roots to the temple.

I daresay, Kathak remains my first love and this book is an offering to all those who think of Kathak as a dance of the courtesans. Hope it dispels some of their notions and puts this much- maligned form in the correct perspective.

Back of The Book
Indian classical dances have a tradition that has been distilled to perfection over centuries. For the first time, the actual practitioners of these forms - the dancers themselves, given the insider's point of view, delineating the origin and history of various styles, the repertoire, technique, the music, the costumes, make-up and specific jewellery. Aimed at an interested but uninitiated audience, the collection decodes the nuances of the forms in an easy-to-assimilate manner.

Contents

Origin and History11
Sahitya27
Technique35
Repertoire55
Music and Instruments73
Costume and Jewellery81
Gharanas87
New Directions91

Kathak (Shovana Narayan)

Item Code:
IDK986
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2004
Publisher:
ISBN:
9788186685143
Size:
6.2" X 6.2"
Pages:
98 (18Colour Illustrations)
Price:
$22.50   Shipping Free
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from The Jacket
Kathak, north India's most popular dance from, originated in the Indo-Gangetic plains. This text on Kathak provides an excellent overview of the form, incorporating a wealth of information on its origin and salient features. Tracing its over 2000-year-old history, it answers many of the questions that frequently plague interested viewers as well as connoisseurs. It corrects and puts into proper perspective, a number of misconceptions that me related to the dance form.

Honoured with the Padmashri in 1999-2000 for her far-reaching contribution to Kathak, Shovana Narayan has imparted a philosophical and rich textural hue to the age-old tradition. She has taken it out of its narrow confines and imparted it gravity and depth in content, performed with dignity and ennoblement. Shovana's published works include, Kathak: Rhythmic Echoes & Reflections and The Dance Legacy of Patliputra.

Editor's Note
As a child I remember being dragged to dance class at a time when I wanted nothing better than play in the park with my friends. My exasperated parents gave up after a while. Then at the threshold of adulthood, I happened to attend a performance of Gopi Krishna, who was batter known as the dance guru of film stars. The purists looked down upon him for selling his artistic soul to Bollywood and none were willing to take seriously. His bare, hairless body, over-painted face put me off. But the moment he started dancing. I did a double take. For with each step that he took of his highly ghungrooed feet, it seemed as if he help my entire being spellbound. Unblinking, I sat in the shamiyana, awash with the sheer beauty of his dance. Every molecule of his body personified dance. I still get goose pimples thinking about that experience, so vivid it is in my mind. He had sown the seed.

I took up Kathak, much against my parents' wishes, for kathak for girls of 'good' families was an absolute no, no. They even went to the then director of Kathak kendra, Keshav Kothari, requesting him to throw me out. But thank God, Keshavji was able to convince them that it was not so bad after all and to let me continue. Still, my learning Kathak was something that was not discussed at home. I remember wrapping my ghungroos in a cloth bag before entering the house lest they make a sound! May have come nowhere near becoming a Tansen, but I sure became a good kansen!

The quest for perfection of the dance from ended when I saw the composite astiste, maestro Birju Maharaj, who has single-handedly altered collective perception about Kathak with the aesthetics of his personal andaaz or style. His style of Lucknow gharana has come to dominate the field to such an extent that performers of Jaipur, Banaras and Raigarh gharana acknowledge in private that they have to acquiesce to it order to stay afloat. He has become the veritable matrix through which all that is Kathak must pass. This and the fact that he has arguably the largest number of shishyas or disciples who have knowingly or unknowingly perpetrated this. There were days when I used to sit in his dance class just to see him teach others! He is truly an amazing artiste: Performer, singer, musician, composer, choreographer, guru - the Gods have really smiled.

The author of this book, Shovana, too is an artiste who has consistently endeavoured to explore the various dimension of the form - ever willing to try something new, hers has been a significant contribution in the intellectual pursuit of tracing the form's roots to the temple.

I daresay, Kathak remains my first love and this book is an offering to all those who think of Kathak as a dance of the courtesans. Hope it dispels some of their notions and puts this much- maligned form in the correct perspective.

Back of The Book
Indian classical dances have a tradition that has been distilled to perfection over centuries. For the first time, the actual practitioners of these forms - the dancers themselves, given the insider's point of view, delineating the origin and history of various styles, the repertoire, technique, the music, the costumes, make-up and specific jewellery. Aimed at an interested but uninitiated audience, the collection decodes the nuances of the forms in an easy-to-assimilate manner.

Contents

Origin and History11
Sahitya27
Technique35
Repertoire55
Music and Instruments73
Costume and Jewellery81
Gharanas87
New Directions91

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