Kathakars and their association with Kathak (storytelling)

Kathak | indian Classical dance | Kathakas | kathakars | storytelling
image source: pinterest

Kathak, an Indian Classical Dance form popularly known throughout the world for the elegance in body movements and rapid footwork.  Kathak is strongly associated with storytelling and as the name Kathak contained in itself “कथा” the art of storytelling.

Literal meaning of the Kathak is “ कथा करने वाला “ means the person who perform story is known as Kathak or Kathakars or Kathakas or Kushi-Luv. A widely known proverb about kathak :

 “कथा कहे सो कथक कहावे”

A story connected with the other name of Kathak i.e. Kushi-Luv is; Kathak found its traces from Valmiki Ji who taught Ramayan hymn to Luv and Kush (son of Lord Ram) from here Kathak is also known as Kushi-Luv.

In ancient times Kathakars perform the epics and Mythological stories but in the middle age Kathak was associated with the stories of Radha-Krishna, and Kathakas present these stories through kathak in the temples. The theme of Radha-Krishna became enormously popular.

The association of kathak with Katha i.e. storytelling has gone through many developments from ancient times to Mughal courts, from the British period to the modern era.

Ancient times: Kathak was originated from Northern India and had its connections with temples where pandits (priests) of the temples recite mythological stories and epics with expressions and hand movements. These priests engage Kathakas to perform the stories from epics of Ramayan, Mahabharat, Purans, and Vedas. Kathakars associate with the travel bards of Northern India and propagate these stories in the temples and kingdoms.

Bhakti Movement: During the Bhakti Movement more emphasis was towards the emotional aspects of the Kathak that resonate with the stories of Radha-Krishna and other devotional deities. The whole new range of Musical form and lyrics incorporated in the Kathak.

Kathakars (storytellers) traveled from village to village and kingdom to kingdom to propagate this art form. These storytellers stops at the temples to take rest and enact these stories.

FAQ’S Related Dance: Kathakars And Their Association With Kathak (Storytelling)

How strongly Kathak and Kathakas are connected?

The origin of Kathak is strongly connected to the Kathakas that were traveling bards and spread the stories throughout the region for the propagation of this art.

About the Author: – Neha Khunteta

She is a Kathak Artist and has been associated with it for more than 10 years and the founder of Kathak By Neha the best Kathak dance academy in Jaipur.

Hope this blog helps you in some other way; feel free to contact us on

email: kathakbyneha@gmail.com  or contact: +91-8619116616

Don’t forget to follow us on Quora, Instagram, Facebook, and subscribe on Youtube for videos.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *