Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kathak: Why it's all about the feet

I've always wondered why Kathak focusses so much on footwork. In Kathak Nritya Shiksha, a Hindi textbook on the classical dance form, Dr Puru Dadhich says that dancers in the Mughal court were asked to perform holding glasses of wine. To maintain their balance, the dancers had to rely extensively on their footwork. If they spilt the wine, they would be whipped. If they maintained their balance through the performance, they would each be gifted a necklace of pearls. Therefore, the dancers would concentrate all their energies on their foot movements and Kathak, a dance, that earlier required the use of the entire body, gradually became a "tamasha of foot movements."

No comments: