Kathak is one of eight classical dance forms of India. Because kathak originated in North India, it is the only Indian classical dance style that has Islamic influences: by India’s medieval shahs – the Mughals – and their Persian style. Kathak is also known for it’s tatkar (complex footwork), natural posture style and chakkars (intense pirouettes).
Kathak is a narrative dance form usually used to demonstrate emotion, such as divine love of both the Hindu and Islamic traditions. The quintessential kathak narrative, featured in the audio-photo essay below, is the romance of Lord Krishna and Radha.
Anisha Muni was born in the U.S., but traces her roots to New Delhi. She currently works for the 2010 Census in outreach to increase the representation of New York City’s South Asian communities. She began pursuing kathak in order to be a part of “something greater” and has been “chasing” it ever since.