Kathak: Derived from the word katha meaning the art of storytelling Kathak finds its roots during the times of lord Rama and is today one of the most popular forms of classical dance performed in India. In accordance to its literal meaning, Kathak masters the art of conveying ancient stories through hand movements called mudra, facial expressions referred to as gadhbhav and feet movements. The story tellers or ‘kathak’s’ as they were referred to followed this dance style to narrate the stories of Gods and Goddesses in temples. Later on this dance form diversified from its pure spiritual form and sought to grab audiences and become a form of entertainment to the general public. The performance of the Kathak dance is divided into two parts; the Nrit or dance aspect and the emoting aspect. Kathak epitomizes the characteristics of beauty and grace through its simplicity. The music of the trinkling ghunghroo’s or tiny bells reverberate with each beat of the tabla or small hand drums and creates a beautiful trance like environment which captivates everyone viewing the performance. There are different styles of Kathak represented by different houses or Gharana’s which include the Lucknow gharana, Benaras gharana and Jaipur gharana. At Guiding Star Productions the style of Kathak taught complies and adheres to the Benaras Gharana. Originating in Varanasi, India, the Benaras gharana of Kathak has been acclaimed for preserving the purity of Kathak in its true original form. This style of Kathak dancing does not lay emphasize on speed of steps rather it focuses on delivering slow, beautifully executed movements keeping in sync with moderate tempo and perfect precision. This makes this particular Gharana of Kathak all the more special and unique.
There are several folk dances associated with Indian culture and practices. Associated with times as old and ancient as the Vedic period, these folk dances are representative of the region that they belong too. The folk dances are seen as an excellent medium to improve mutual relationships and as a medium to spread happiness and goodwill in the society. These dances are generally associated with religious festivals and agricultural practices prevalent in that part of the country. At Guiding Star Productions the folk dances which wait for you to try them out and enjoy include the likes of:. . . [Top]
Bhangra: Energetic, electrifying, fast, acrobatic and captivating; this is Bhangra. Performed by men, this dance form is native to the state of Punjab in India but has a fan following all across the globe. This dance form celebrates the joyous time of harvest and is performed in the midst of thumping drums and typical Punjabi lyrics. But looking at its popularity this dance form has long moved out from the limits of villages and has found a following amidst non Punjabi’s thereby making Bhangra staple at marriages, parties and festivals all around the globe. It is the energy, effervescence and the rich burst of bright colors in the form of turban which is a head dress and salwar kameez(long shirts teemed with loose trousers) worn by dancers associated with this dance form which makes it extremely alive and captivating to audiences of all age groups. . . . [Top]
Gidha: The women folk of Punjab too express their share of fun and festivities during the festival of Lohri or Teej by means of Gidha which in itself is as energetic and engaging as the Bhangra. Performed on the beats of claps in the midst of authentic Punjabi lyrics or Boli’s and drums, Giddha is performed either by a single woman or by women in pairs. Comprising of elegant, beautiful and extremely swift foot movements, Gidha captures the essence of fun and joy perfectly. Bright salwar kameez(long shirts teemed with loose trousers) and heavy glistening jewelry make this dance a true spectacle to watch. . . . [Top]
Dandiya: Swaying bright colours, foot tapping beats, rhythmic clattering of sticks and electrifying flow of energy is what Dandiya is all about. This incredibly beautiful Indian folk dance traces its roots to the tribal pockets of the state of Gujarat but has now left its mark well beyond the limits of India. It is during the festivities of the Navratra’s or the festival of nine nights that Dandiya is performed by dancers in all its glory and gaiety. Dandiya involves the dancers to dance around in circles and responding to the beats of the music by clattering their sticks. Another dance form known as Garbha is also native to this same area. The only difference between these two dance forms being that Garbha is performed before the arti or prayer meeting while Dandiya follows the arti. . . . [Top]
Kalbelia: Beautiful sensual movements and body sways accentuated by beautiful black garments adorned with silver embroidery is what makes the dance of Kalbelia so beautiful and breath taking. Performed by the Kalbelia tribe of Rajasthan this dance form is performed on the tunes of the been which is used by snake charmers and depicts the sway of snakes. Women adorn themselves with the traditional attire of a lehnga or full skirts, odhni which is a flowing garment to cover the head and an angrakhi or an embroidery decorated top accentuated by bright beautiful silver jewelry and sway to the increasing crescendo of beats and tunes. The dance movements progress to become all the more fast and beautiful as the beats increase. A sure treat to watch and enjoy! . . . [Top]
Ghoomar: Ghoomar is another dance form popular in Rajasthan which is performed by women wearing beautiful and bright coloured lehnga’s or full skirts and gyrating to the beautiful victory and valor describing songs sung by men and women surrounding them. The turns, gyrations and body movements depicted in this dance are extremely beautiful and delicate making Ghoomar a beautiful display to watch and marvel.
Apart from classical and folk dances there also exist semi classical dance forms as well as Bollywood dances and Fusion dances which have gained popularity. . . . [Top]
Bollywood dance: Bollywood is the term given to the Indian film industry and dances form a very important and integral part of this film industry. Bollywood dances are fast, energetic and in tune with the latest dance styles and demands. With Indian films finding a global audience it comes as no surprise that the dances in the movies too are gaining popularity by the day. . . . [Top]
Semi Classical and fusion dances: The lighter, easier and less intensive form of classical dancing is referred to as semi classical dance. It manages to retain the essence of a classical dance but accentuates it with easier moves and steps. Fusion dances on the other hand depict the fusion of Indian dances with different music. Here dancers perform Indian dance steps on music which is composed by the effective and soulful fusion of eastern and western music. . . . [Top]