Esplanade Presents | da:ns festival


Rasas – Kathak

Soniaponnamma Devaiah
19 & 20 Oct 2016Wed & Thu
7.15pm & 8.15pm
7.15pm & 8.15pm
30mins (no intermission)
Esplanade Concourse

Native to northern India, Kathak is one of the six classical Indian dance forms. An ancient storytelling device, Kathak originated within the Hindu temples as a means of portraying epic tales from the Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

However, the stories didn’t stay within the temple walls for long. Nomadic kathakas, or wandering storytellers, soon began carrying the dances throughout the country. They added emotional facial expressions to their performances, further developing the dance to include elements of mime. In this way, Kathak transitioned from its secluded, devotional origins to a more accessible, multi-disciplined, entertainment tradition.

During the medieval period, Kathak became an established part of court culture, performing under the special patronage of India’s Mughal Emperors. This sealed Kathak’s transition from colloquial entertainment to classical art form. Behind palace walls, the emotional and graceful storytelling Hindu roots combined with the more technical postures, rhythmic mathematics of Islam. The mesmerizing precise 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 Kathak developed into a strong dance tradition with elements of both Hindu and Muslim culture present.

Dancer Soniaponnamma Devaiah will present a selection of classical kathak pieces, including a Vandana and Tarana, which showcase the intricate rhythmic footwork of the dance form, as well as a Thumri, in which expressive dance is set to love poetry.

A rising kathak soloist from India, Soniaponnamma is a disciple of Dr. Maya Rao and has worked with STEM Dance Kampuni and the Natya Institute of Kathak. She is also trained in Bharatanatyam and Indian martial arts.

About da:ns festival

To all dance lovers and those curious, Esplanade’s da:ns festival invites you to fall in love with dance through a full-hearted celebration of movement this October. With powerful performances from around the world, exciting new creations and a wide range of opportunities to learn different kinds of dance, this 11-day festival will open your mind, lift your spirit and get your body moving.

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