Kathak is an ethnic Indian dance form, mostly prevalent in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where dancers perform this traditional art in festivals, weddings and parties in front of a live audience. Lucknow is the city to be, if you want to know more about this classical dance, which was actually performed by female dancers in the court of royals, especially Mughal emperors and Nawabs, who enjoyed watching one such performance. Kathak was actually performed by beautiful courtesans in the shahi darbars (royal court enclosures) of the Mughals, who were great admirers of Indian music and dance. The Kathak dancer either wears a ghagra choli, a long skirt & churidar, an Anarkali suit or a salwar suit, which has lovely gold embroidered borders and features rich colors. The silk fabric and the jewelry worn during one such performance is sure to mesmerize the audience through its class, elegance and sophistication, that is outrightly eye-catching. This classical and traditional dance, dates back to centuries when courtesans and slaves like Anarkali, danced to the tune of the tabla and the sitar. Today, this classical Indian dance form can be performed solo or by a team, and it is mostly in weddings and cultural events in North India, where one gets to see live performances. Birju Maharaj is one of the greatest Indian Kathak dancers of all time.
The Traditional Attires and Costumes
This predominantly north and north west Indian dance has a huge fan following in the Hindi speaking belt of India, as it originated and spread in the adjacent areas. Here, the attire worn by the dancer can be a salwar kameez, or a ghagra with a choli and a long skirt worn with a churidar, that looks purely traditional in appeal. The silk fabric of the costume with bright colors and golden borders, looks absolutely mesmerizing in appeal. The makeup too is soft, yet appealing in nature. The female dancer adorns beautiful jewelry, and she is outstanding in grace and gestures. The expressions of her face and eye, say a beautiful story, and it is the tight fitted churidars and pyjamas, along with the long ghagra like skirt, that definitely looks appealing. Kathak was always a traditional Indian dance form that was enjoyed by all music and dance lovers, and today it is the most popular Indian dance form among all classical arts that is performed in the country. It is the attire, be it an Anarkali salwar suit or a long skirt of the dancer or performer, that produces that ‘Wow’ appeal and which is collectively admired by all traditional art lovers.