9 – 11 Oct 2018
Tue – Thu
6.45pm & 7.45pm
Native to northern India, kathak is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms. An ancient storytelling device, kathak originated within the Hindu temples as a means of portraying tales from the epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
However, the stories did not stay within the temple walls for long. Nomadic kathakas, or wandering storytellers, soon began performing the dances throughout the country. They added emotional facial expressions to their performances, further developing the dance to include elements of mime. Through this, kathak transitioned from its secluded, devotional origins to a more accessible, multi-disciplined, entertainment tradition.
During the medieval period, it became an established part of court culture that came under the special patronage of the Mughal emperors. This sealed kathak’s transition from colloquial entertainment to classical art form. Behind palace walls, the emotional and graceful storytelling with Hindu roots combined with the more technical postures, rhythmic mathematics of Islam. The mesmerising precision and pulsating footwork, as well as the graceful yet detailed carriage of the upper body, hand placements, and facial expressions demonstrate kathak’s diverse cultural influences. Thus, it developed into a strong dance tradition with elements of both Hindu and Muslim culture.
About Apsaras Arts
Four decades since its founding by Singapore-Indian classical dance pioneers, the late S. Sathyalingam and his wife, the late Neila Sathyalingam of the famed arts and cultural academy Kalakshetra in India, Apsaras Arts has grown into a professional performance company, continuing with its strong focus on Indian classical dance.