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Paintings > Oils > Kathak, A Beauteous Dance That Tells A Story
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Kathak, A Beauteous Dance That Tells A Story

Kathak, A Beauteous Dance That Tells A Story

Kathak, A Beauteous Dance That Tells A Story

The thing about kathak, or any of the nine classical dances expounded in the Natyashastras of India, is that it conveys a narrative. A history, a spatial awareness creeps up in the mudras and the repertoire of kathak. It is also called natvari nritya, the dance of the Lord Krishna. The dance has its origins in the Vedic yug of 4,000 years ago, when nomadic kathakars (katha is Sanskrit for story, so a kathakar is a storyteller) of the Vaishnava faith wandered the North Indian plains disseminating mythology to the masses. These devotional recitation-and-gesture routines faded as the Islamic invasions began, and emerged in the courts of the Muslim monarchs as a more rigorous dance form meant to entertain. Today kathak scholarship is as much about the piety of its history as it is about the seductive perfection of the dance, of which this painting is an apt picture.

The dancer in question in immersed in her routine, as could be gauged from her composure of countenance. She is bedecked with traditional vividly coloured makeup and silver jewellery, her jet black hair as characteristic as it is of Indian women parted neatly into a bun. A pristine halo, carved and decorated with considerable attention to detail, sits on her head, adding grace to the movements of her neck. Her hands are in the same mudra that the Nataraja famously holds His hands in. Gold bangles grace her dusky wrists, her palms painted on with rich red alta. A similar dye graces her gorgeous feet in the foreground of this painting. The brocaded border of her resplendent purple saree has lifted up to accommodate her raised leg, revealing the highly characteristic ghungroo-studded anklet and a hint of bare skin. The beauty of this painting lies in the naturalistic portrayal of the dancer and the ghungroos in the foreground that add music to the imagery.

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Oil Painting on Canvas

20 inches X 30 inches
Item Code:
OV87
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