Kathak is the art of story telling which originated in the temples of Northen India, giving it a history initiated and steeped in temple tradition. In ancient India the narrator of a story or Katha, was a traveling bard known as Kathakas, or Kathakar. Kathakas used to tell stories about Gods, Goddesses, their attributes and their heavenly activities. 

With the arrival of Mughal rulers and Islam in India, the Kathakas who were attached with temples were forced to take refuge in the courts of these rulers. As a result, the dance form was forced through many cultural upheavals and it emerged as a blend of these two cultures. It was during this period that the technical aspects of Kathak were developed. During the British regime, Kathak moved to the kothas or brothels, among the lower points in the history of this dance form. It was after the independence of India that Kathak was resurrected by the stalwarts of this tradition who restored this most graceful dance to its former glory.

One significant fact is that through out this journey filled with upheavals and even near oblivion, this dance form has always been called Kathak. This art of story telling has now been enriched by the contribution of legendry Gurus. Because of the wide scope of the dance style, Kathak has been amenable to collaborations with various genres of music and dance. Kathak in its current form describes traditional, religious, cultural and social themes.

This presentation will showcase the fascinating journey of Kathak through solo, duet and ensemble performances with the live accompaniment of vocals, musical and percussion instruments.

About the artist

Rujuta Soman is one of the leading Kathak exponents of India and founder of the Rujuta Soman Cultural Academy. Rujuta has over the last 20 years honed her skils as a dancer under the tutelage of late Guru Pandita Dr. Rohini Bhate. Rujuta has also explored the nuances of Taal and Laya under the guidance of Taalyogi Pt. Suresh Talwalkar. Recently she is also learning the intricacies of the Jaipur Gharana of Kathak under the able guidance of Pt Rajendra Gangani. Rujuta has a Master’s Degree in Kathak from Pune University and runs the Rujuta Soman Cultural Academy in Pune.