While Kathak is performed in many different styles, the 3 most common Kathak styles are-
Sufi Kathak Style
It involves fine interlacing of religion, spirituality, philosophy, devotion, love, etc by getting oneself fully immersed in the dance form. It gives higher Importance to body movements and postures than facial expressions as it comes directly from the heart and thus glorifies its grace more. It is a beautifully woven combination of deep Sufi poetry and graceful body movements or footwork of Kathak.
Traditional Kathak Style
It puts a great amount of focus on the facial expressions such that they are capable enough of conveying thoughts, ideas, and emotions.
It is used for the purpose of Bhakti or worshiping of several deities which are best manifested by performing their life incidences for example Krishna hitting the pots of Gokul girls, Radha complaining about Krishna, etc.
This style is performed by wearing traditional Kathak costumes and musical notes of Table, Manjeera, and Harmonium. It is still prominent and a way to keep the legacy alive.
Contemporary Kathak Style
When Kathak is done on pop songs of both Bollywood and English ones on a high tempo and fast beats it is slathered with the contemporary color.
The Kathak which is performed on these songs involves the same body movements and postures but is marked by a higher pace and speed. As this style of kathak compliments contemporary songs, it is often referred to as ‘Modern kathak’.
Nowadays a lot of creators on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, etc are getting popular by performing this style of Kathak and had contributed to making it a trending dance form with a lot of foreigners as well showcasing their interest in learning it.
Please go through the following lesson to learn about 7 Kathak Levels.