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Kathak Indian Classical Dance Art (Rare Book)
Kathak Indian Classical Dance Art (Rare Book)
Description
From the Jacket

Kathak, the Indian classical dance form prevalent in the North, has a long past. Nurtured in the holy precincts of the Hindu temples, Kathak dance has, over the centuries, attained refinement and enriched itself with various hues and embellishments. The art of story-telling which found expression in various forms like the Akhyana by the Manabhattas of Gujarat, the Pandavani by the artistes telling stories in Madhya Pradesh, the Harikathas and Kalakshepams of the South, the Kiranas of the West, the art of Wari-liba, story-telling of the North-East, specially of Manipur, reflects the rich heritage Kathak has inherited over the years. In forms such as Baithakachi Lavani and the bhava to the Ghazals the range is both varied and vast.

Though essentially seen in its solo form, Kathak in its Natya aspect shares a large corpus of the Rasalilas of Brindavan. Its journey from the Hindu temples to the courts of the Mughals is quite fascinating and the various elements it has imbibed over the different periods in history have given Kathak an exquisite character. The Persian influence, the patronage of the Muslim kings, the flowering of the two main gharanas (schools), the Jaipur and the Lucknow, and the contribution of the Maharaj Brothers, the famous descendants of Kalka-Bindadin, viz., Acchan Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj, Lacchu Maharaj and Birju Maharaj, the great gurus of Jaipur like Jailalji and Sunder Prasadji portray Kathak as it has developed in recent times. Whereas the choreographic attempts by Madame Menaka and later on by Birju Maharaj and Kumudini Lakhia provide a perspective for viewing Kathak in its many-faceted forms.

The footwork, the nritta pieces like tode, tukde, parans, the improvisational aspects and the simple mime, abhinaya to the songs, lyrics, ghazals, the graceful gats and gat-nikas1, the illusion of miniature paintings coming to life and many other aspects are vividly captured in this most comprehensive and thoroughly researched book on Kathak. It has an attractive section on the contemporary practitioners ranging from Birju Maharaj, Sitara Devi, Damayanti Joshi, Kumudini Lakhia, Rohini Bhate, Roshan Kumari, Gopi Krishna, Durgalal to the young exponents who carry forward the tradition in the present times. Lavishly illustrated with colour and black and white photographs and designed by Dolly Sahiar, the many-splendoured beauty of Kathak is captured in this volume which should appeal to the cognoscenti and lay readers alike.

About the Author

Dr. Sunil Kothari is a well-known dance historian, scholar and critic. He is the first Indian dance critic to have obtained a Ph.D. in dance from the M. S. University, Baroda. His doctoral thesis was 'Dance-Drama Tradition and Rasa Theory as expounded in Bharata's Natyashastra'. He received a D. Litt. In dance from Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, for his research on 'The Dance Sculptures of Medieval Temples of North Gujarat'.

He holds the Uday Shankar Chair in the Department of Dance at Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, where he is Professor and Head of the Dance Department. He also served for some time as an Assistant Secretary (Dance) at the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.

He has traveled extensively in India. Visiting the centres of classical, traditional and folk dances and has made firsthand study of the various dance forms. Interviewing the great gurus and dancers and attending various festivals. He has garnered a vast collection of photographs, colour slides and documented material on most of the forms of dance. He also owns a large collection of books, manuscripts, articles, press clippings and material related to dance, which he intends to use as a nucleus for a Dance Archive. Author of several research papers and articles, his book 'Bharata Natyam' published by Marg Publications, Bombay, has run into a third edition within a short span of three years. It has come to be recognized as the most comprehensive and authoritative work on the subject. His other publications include Chhau Dances of India (Marg Publications) and Photo Biography of Uday Shankar (Rimpa Publications) published by Pandit Ravi Shankar, the world-renowned sitar maestro.

Dr Kothari is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Dance Council (UNESCO), Paris. He has served on innumerable committees including the selection committees for the dancers for the Festival of India, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, Senior and Junior Talent Research Scholarships of the Department of Culture, Government of India, the Kalidas Samman of Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, the University Grants Commission, etc.

Dr Kothari has attended many national and international conferences on dance, contributing learned papers to national and international art journals. He has visited several countries studying international dance scene.

Dr Kothari collaborated with Prakash Jha for a series of documentary films on classical dances of India and has written the scripts for films on dance produced by Bombay Doordarshan. He has also organized photo exhibitions of Uday Shankar and of various forms of dance and conducted several dance appreciation courses.

He is a regular contributor to the Times of India group of publications. He has served as a dance critic for The Time of India, The Indian Express, The Statesman, The Economic Times, etc. He is also a foreign correspondent of The Dance Magazine, New York and Ballett Annual, West Germany,

At present he is a dance critic for The Statesman, Calcutta and writes a regular Sunday column for The Economic Times. Currently he is working on comprehensive volumes on Odissi and Kuchipudi.

Preface

After the publication of my book on Bharata Natyam in the nature of a definitive work, Dr Mulk Raj Anand suggested that I should write books on each of the forms like Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali. The present work on Kathak is published as a part of that series. I had studied Kathak when in school in 1950 from Shri Ratikant Arya at Deodhar's classes near Opera House in Bombay. He was a student of Ashiq Hussain. For the past years, I have been a keen observer and a student of the dance-scene and have had the good fortune of meeting major gurus and senior exponents. As I was based in Bombay I had many opportunities to witness their performances and numerous occasions to discuss various aspects of the art with them.

In particular, the great gurus of the Lucknow gharana, Lacchu Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj and Birju Maharaj, the Jaipur gharana gurus Sunder Prasad, Mohan Rao Kalyanpurkar (he also studied under Shambhu Maharaj), Kundanlal Gangani, Kartikram and others have helped a great deal in clarifying many points. Whenever I approached the senior exponents like Sitara Devi, Damayanti Joshi, Poovaiah Sisters, Birju Maharaj, Gopi Krishna, Roshan Kumari, Rohini Bhate, Maya Rao, Kumudini Lakhia, Birju Maharaj, Gopi Krishna, Roshan Kumari, Rohini Bhate, Maya Rao, Kumudini Lakhia, Sunayana Hazarilal, Rani Karna and others, they willingly demonstrated the finer points of different gharanas. Discussions with Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr. S. K. Saxena, Prof Mohan Khokar, Keshav Kothari Jiwan Pani and others were of great help. The research has been an ongoing process. The visits to the centres of Kathak at Lucknow and Jaipur and fieldwork in different parts of the country have been equally rewarding. The seminars and Kathak Prasangs organized by the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi and Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad, Bhopal were educative and threw considerable light on the different aspects of Kathak. The interaction has been of immense value.

No work of this nature can ever be undertaken individually. So many people have helped at various stages of the book. To all of them I am indebted. For the photographs, Avinash Pasricha helped me so generously. And the bulk of the photographs were loaned to me by the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. I have separately acknowledged and given due credit to all who offered help. But the two persons who have been a source of support and strength and without whom the present work would never have seen the light of the day are Dr Mulk Raj Anand and Dolly Sahiar. Dolly and I have spent months together collecting the photographs and discussing the layout. She is justly celebrated for her impeccable sense of layout and design. But for her devotion and untiring efforts to illustrate the book, the present volume would not have been so rich visually. I am grateful to her for her patience. Shri Shakti Malik of Abhinav Publications, New Delhi co-operated in an exemplary manner. He displayed praiseworthy patience for my exacting demands for details and updating the text. A considerable time has lapsed between the submission of the finally sent for printing. The Kathak scene has changed considerably and there are innumerable deserving exponents whom I have been unable to accommodate in the contemporary section. But I am confident they will appreciate our limitations and shall hopefully be included in the next editions. I shall be grateful to the readers for bringing to my notice any lacuna and factual errors.

Contents
Prefacexv
1Kathak: Origin and Historical Perspective1
2Lucknow Gharana21
3Jaipur Gharana41
4Janakiprasad Gharana59
5Kathak In Raigarh Durbar67
6Nritta83
7Nritya: Abhinaya107
8Natya137
9Dance-Dramas151
10Music In Kathak171
11Contemporaries179
Glossary223
Acknowledgements229
Index231

Kathak Indian Classical Dance Art (Rare Book)

Item Code:
IDJ967
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1989
Publisher:
ISBN:
8170172233
Size:
12.7" X 10.2"
Pages:
234 (Half-Tone Illus. 401, Color Illus. 31)
Price:
$80.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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From the Jacket

Kathak, the Indian classical dance form prevalent in the North, has a long past. Nurtured in the holy precincts of the Hindu temples, Kathak dance has, over the centuries, attained refinement and enriched itself with various hues and embellishments. The art of story-telling which found expression in various forms like the Akhyana by the Manabhattas of Gujarat, the Pandavani by the artistes telling stories in Madhya Pradesh, the Harikathas and Kalakshepams of the South, the Kiranas of the West, the art of Wari-liba, story-telling of the North-East, specially of Manipur, reflects the rich heritage Kathak has inherited over the years. In forms such as Baithakachi Lavani and the bhava to the Ghazals the range is both varied and vast.

Though essentially seen in its solo form, Kathak in its Natya aspect shares a large corpus of the Rasalilas of Brindavan. Its journey from the Hindu temples to the courts of the Mughals is quite fascinating and the various elements it has imbibed over the different periods in history have given Kathak an exquisite character. The Persian influence, the patronage of the Muslim kings, the flowering of the two main gharanas (schools), the Jaipur and the Lucknow, and the contribution of the Maharaj Brothers, the famous descendants of Kalka-Bindadin, viz., Acchan Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj, Lacchu Maharaj and Birju Maharaj, the great gurus of Jaipur like Jailalji and Sunder Prasadji portray Kathak as it has developed in recent times. Whereas the choreographic attempts by Madame Menaka and later on by Birju Maharaj and Kumudini Lakhia provide a perspective for viewing Kathak in its many-faceted forms.

The footwork, the nritta pieces like tode, tukde, parans, the improvisational aspects and the simple mime, abhinaya to the songs, lyrics, ghazals, the graceful gats and gat-nikas1, the illusion of miniature paintings coming to life and many other aspects are vividly captured in this most comprehensive and thoroughly researched book on Kathak. It has an attractive section on the contemporary practitioners ranging from Birju Maharaj, Sitara Devi, Damayanti Joshi, Kumudini Lakhia, Rohini Bhate, Roshan Kumari, Gopi Krishna, Durgalal to the young exponents who carry forward the tradition in the present times. Lavishly illustrated with colour and black and white photographs and designed by Dolly Sahiar, the many-splendoured beauty of Kathak is captured in this volume which should appeal to the cognoscenti and lay readers alike.

About the Author

Dr. Sunil Kothari is a well-known dance historian, scholar and critic. He is the first Indian dance critic to have obtained a Ph.D. in dance from the M. S. University, Baroda. His doctoral thesis was 'Dance-Drama Tradition and Rasa Theory as expounded in Bharata's Natyashastra'. He received a D. Litt. In dance from Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, for his research on 'The Dance Sculptures of Medieval Temples of North Gujarat'.

He holds the Uday Shankar Chair in the Department of Dance at Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, where he is Professor and Head of the Dance Department. He also served for some time as an Assistant Secretary (Dance) at the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.

He has traveled extensively in India. Visiting the centres of classical, traditional and folk dances and has made firsthand study of the various dance forms. Interviewing the great gurus and dancers and attending various festivals. He has garnered a vast collection of photographs, colour slides and documented material on most of the forms of dance. He also owns a large collection of books, manuscripts, articles, press clippings and material related to dance, which he intends to use as a nucleus for a Dance Archive. Author of several research papers and articles, his book 'Bharata Natyam' published by Marg Publications, Bombay, has run into a third edition within a short span of three years. It has come to be recognized as the most comprehensive and authoritative work on the subject. His other publications include Chhau Dances of India (Marg Publications) and Photo Biography of Uday Shankar (Rimpa Publications) published by Pandit Ravi Shankar, the world-renowned sitar maestro.

Dr Kothari is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Dance Council (UNESCO), Paris. He has served on innumerable committees including the selection committees for the dancers for the Festival of India, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, Senior and Junior Talent Research Scholarships of the Department of Culture, Government of India, the Kalidas Samman of Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, the University Grants Commission, etc.

Dr Kothari has attended many national and international conferences on dance, contributing learned papers to national and international art journals. He has visited several countries studying international dance scene.

Dr Kothari collaborated with Prakash Jha for a series of documentary films on classical dances of India and has written the scripts for films on dance produced by Bombay Doordarshan. He has also organized photo exhibitions of Uday Shankar and of various forms of dance and conducted several dance appreciation courses.

He is a regular contributor to the Times of India group of publications. He has served as a dance critic for The Time of India, The Indian Express, The Statesman, The Economic Times, etc. He is also a foreign correspondent of The Dance Magazine, New York and Ballett Annual, West Germany,

At present he is a dance critic for The Statesman, Calcutta and writes a regular Sunday column for The Economic Times. Currently he is working on comprehensive volumes on Odissi and Kuchipudi.

Preface

After the publication of my book on Bharata Natyam in the nature of a definitive work, Dr Mulk Raj Anand suggested that I should write books on each of the forms like Kathak, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali. The present work on Kathak is published as a part of that series. I had studied Kathak when in school in 1950 from Shri Ratikant Arya at Deodhar's classes near Opera House in Bombay. He was a student of Ashiq Hussain. For the past years, I have been a keen observer and a student of the dance-scene and have had the good fortune of meeting major gurus and senior exponents. As I was based in Bombay I had many opportunities to witness their performances and numerous occasions to discuss various aspects of the art with them.

In particular, the great gurus of the Lucknow gharana, Lacchu Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj and Birju Maharaj, the Jaipur gharana gurus Sunder Prasad, Mohan Rao Kalyanpurkar (he also studied under Shambhu Maharaj), Kundanlal Gangani, Kartikram and others have helped a great deal in clarifying many points. Whenever I approached the senior exponents like Sitara Devi, Damayanti Joshi, Poovaiah Sisters, Birju Maharaj, Gopi Krishna, Roshan Kumari, Rohini Bhate, Maya Rao, Kumudini Lakhia, Birju Maharaj, Gopi Krishna, Roshan Kumari, Rohini Bhate, Maya Rao, Kumudini Lakhia, Sunayana Hazarilal, Rani Karna and others, they willingly demonstrated the finer points of different gharanas. Discussions with Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr. S. K. Saxena, Prof Mohan Khokar, Keshav Kothari Jiwan Pani and others were of great help. The research has been an ongoing process. The visits to the centres of Kathak at Lucknow and Jaipur and fieldwork in different parts of the country have been equally rewarding. The seminars and Kathak Prasangs organized by the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi and Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad, Bhopal were educative and threw considerable light on the different aspects of Kathak. The interaction has been of immense value.

No work of this nature can ever be undertaken individually. So many people have helped at various stages of the book. To all of them I am indebted. For the photographs, Avinash Pasricha helped me so generously. And the bulk of the photographs were loaned to me by the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi. I have separately acknowledged and given due credit to all who offered help. But the two persons who have been a source of support and strength and without whom the present work would never have seen the light of the day are Dr Mulk Raj Anand and Dolly Sahiar. Dolly and I have spent months together collecting the photographs and discussing the layout. She is justly celebrated for her impeccable sense of layout and design. But for her devotion and untiring efforts to illustrate the book, the present volume would not have been so rich visually. I am grateful to her for her patience. Shri Shakti Malik of Abhinav Publications, New Delhi co-operated in an exemplary manner. He displayed praiseworthy patience for my exacting demands for details and updating the text. A considerable time has lapsed between the submission of the finally sent for printing. The Kathak scene has changed considerably and there are innumerable deserving exponents whom I have been unable to accommodate in the contemporary section. But I am confident they will appreciate our limitations and shall hopefully be included in the next editions. I shall be grateful to the readers for bringing to my notice any lacuna and factual errors.

Contents
Prefacexv
1Kathak: Origin and Historical Perspective1
2Lucknow Gharana21
3Jaipur Gharana41
4Janakiprasad Gharana59
5Kathak In Raigarh Durbar67
6Nritta83
7Nritya: Abhinaya107
8Natya137
9Dance-Dramas151
10Music In Kathak171
11Contemporaries179
Glossary223
Acknowledgements229
Index231
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