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My Favourite Art Form – Dance

What is dance?? Dance is a series of steps or movements which you do to music. Hello everyone. Again I am Prapti here with another blog. In my previous blog. I’m going to tell you about how is dance related to my life and why do I love it so much.

There are many forms of dance like classical, semi-classical, western, Indian, freestyle, hip hop, salsa, ballet, and many more. All of them have a different type of grace. There are basic 7 types of classical dances like Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi, Odissi, and Kathakali. Since I am a kathak dancer in this blog, I am going to focus on Kathak. Kathak is considered classical dance but it is a semi-classical dance in real.

Kathak is originated from North India and is the most important and beautiful dance form amongst all the dance forms. Kathak is a very graceful and wonderful dance. What is the meaning of Kathak?? Kathak means telling stories which we say as “कथा सांगणे”. It can be stories of Radhe Krishna, Shri Sitaram, Mahadev Parvati, or of any god and goddess. It has basic three distinct forms which are called “gharanas” in Kathak – Banaras, Lucknow, and Jaipur. You can learn only one Gharana but when I talk about myself I learn both Lucknow and Banaras Gharana.

Kathak mostly depicts the Raasleela of Braj or Vrindavan. Kathak includes many things like Toda, Kavit, Gatnikas, Gatbhav, Baant, Aamad, Paran, Paran Judi Aamad, and many other things. It uses all of your body parts but mainly focuses on hand movements and facial expressions. Hand movements include the usage of the wrist, elbow, and fingers. Facial movements include the use of eyes, neck, and eyebrows. All of the RadhaKrishna Raasleela’s are performed in Kathak. It was performed in Vrindavan, Mathura, Barsana or Braj, Gokul, Ayodhya or Avadh, was and all of the places in North India.

The synonym of Kathak is “Kushilav”. The history is very different behind this. As the name suggests, it is something related to Luv and Kush. Who were LuvKush?? Both of them were Lord Ram and Sita’s sons. When LuvKush had come into the kingdom of Lord Ram and had sung Saint Valmiki’s Ramayan in front of everyone, some people used to perform Kathak on it. This is the reason why Kathak is also called “Kushilav” and Saint Valmiki is also known as the first dancer.

My most favourite part in Kathak is Gatbhav. Gatbhav is a performance of showing any story in which only one person performs all the roles. It includes the story of Radhakrishna Premleela, Droupadi Cheerharan, Ram – Bharat Milap, Govardhan Girdhari, etc. There are some important and famous gurus in Kathak likePandit Birju Maharaj, Shrimati Sitaradevi, and Pandit Gopikrishna to name a few. Now, I would like to share my experience.

I am learning Kathak since 11 years and I have passed 4 exams. At present, I am preparing for the 5th exam. I have shifted to many places so I have also changed many teachers but I have give

n all my exams in Pune. In lockdown, I have also started choreographing my own dances and I have also opened my own youtube channel. Before ending I would just like to mention that “Dance is my passion and I just love to dance”.

Prapti Kulkarni- 11A

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