Ananya : The Unparalleled - October 6 to October 10, 2012 - Purana Quila, New Delhi - Daily at 7 to 8.15 pm - Entry Free
Sunday, 7th October 2012
Kathak - Rani Karnaa Nayak's group (kolkata)
The scintillating Indian classical dance Kathak originated in the ancient temples of north India before finding its way into the royal courts of Awadh and Jaipur. With the onset of the Mughal period, it became a court dance for royal entertainment: so we have, on the one hand, devotional temple Kathak and, on the other, the dazzling court Kathak with its exotic costumes and Persian influence. As a story-telling form, Kathak is born of the narrative tradition of the village minstrel – the story-teller, who is also called kathak, or kathakar. The kathakar sang of heroic tales and legends, dramatising lyrics with subtle gestures and expressions. This graceful, spontaneous dance form reveals the poetry, mythology and spiritual ethos of its roots, and most importantly, India’s rich Hindu-Muslim heritage.

Born in Sindh, Pakistan, Kathak exponent Smt. Rani Karnaa’s repertoire integrates the traditions of Jaipur and Lucknow gharanas with a sense of artistic adventure. She trained under Kathak greats Guru Nrityacharya Narayan Prasad, Pt. Sunder Prasad and Pt. Birju Maharaj, besides learning Odissi under Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Her collaborations with musicians, scholars, scientists and writers have created rare compositions based on poetry, lyricism, music, philosophy, pure dance and abhinaya. Her early experiments with the songs of Tagore and her interpretations of Surdas and Haridas accounts for a fascinating life as a composer-dancer. Rani Karnaa has performed at many prestigious Indian festivals and travelled widely in Asia, Russia and Europe. Recipient of several honours, she founded and headed in the late seventies the Calcutta School of Music. She is currently director of her own dance academy, Samskritiki Shreyaskar in Kolkata.


Piroye Moti begins with an invocation to Lord Shiva, and is followed by an exposition of pure dance. Raas Sanyog Shringar explores the wondrous love and beauty of the eternal pair Radha and Krishna with a verse of Swami Haridas providing the text. Hindol Tarana, a traditional, pure dance composition comes next after which the artistes perform the Shumar, a play of numbers which is an important aspect of Kathak. The mood changes with Varsha Agaman, a visual and verbal treat depicting the joy rains bring. The evening closes with Trivatt, a pure dance presentation replete with the scintillating aspects of Kathak, such as fast footwork, sharp linear movements and precise pirouettes.