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Walker, Margaret Edith,1964-
Kathak dance :a critical history.
Ph. D. -- University of Toronto, 2004
Ottawa :Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothè€que et Archives Canada,[2005]
3 microfiches.
Includes bibliographical references.
'Kathak', the classical dance of North India, combines virtuosic footwork and dazzling spins with subtle pantomime and soft gestures. Its repertoire and movement vocabulary show its syncretic origins--it is a dance that is both Muslim and Hindu, both devotional and entertaining, and both male and female. Histories of 'kathak' dance, however, claim that it began as a temple dance, originally performed by a clan of Brahman storytellers called Kathaks who recounted the Hindu epics with expressive gestures. The dance is still largely disseminated by hereditary dance families from the Kathak caste, who are said to have preserved the ancient form while migrating to the Muslim courts. Difficulties arise, however, when one attempts to discover the early form of 'kathak' and to trace its development through the courts. The history of 'kathak', as it has been written until now, contains numerous gaps, contradictions and paradoxes. Through a broad yet in-depth analysis of primary and secondary sources, ethnography and iconography, this dissertation undertakes a critical examination of the history of 'kathak' as it exists in publications and popular knowledge, calls many of the accepted "facts" into question, and hypothesizes a different account. In the process of dismantling the accepted version, which promotes a past which is not only specifically male and Hindu, but also linear, I uncover a web of closely related traditions which only combined in the early twentieth century to form a dance called 'kathak '.
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