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How To Do A Proper Kathak Namaskar?

6th May, 2022

Classical Indian dances are akin to worshipping the Gods. They are divine and sacred. One must follow a disciplined regimen when learning Kathak or any other Indian classical dance form so that the dance form becomes an embedded part of the dancer.

Before taking Kathak online learning lessons, you must learn the basics of Kathak dance, starting with how to do a proper Kathak Namaskar. Before and after Kathak dancing, a dancer performs Namaskar, a prayer or salutation. It is one of the most important Kathak namaskar steps. Namaskar is a Hindu greeting that expresses gratitude to God and Mother Nature.

'Namaskar' is a Sanskrit term for respectfully greeting or saluting someone. When greeting someone, the latter connects their hands in an upward posture held at chest level and bows slightly in front of the other person.

Followings are the Kathak Namaskar Steps To Do a Proper Namaskar:

  • STEP 1 - The Namaskar begins with both hands gradually expanding forward and sideways in "Pataka Hasta."
  • STEP 2 - Raise both hands to the right side of your body, palms down. Sit down with one leg outstretched and the other knee on the floor. Bring both hands down to the ground. Touching the ground denotes a request for permission and forgiveness from Mother Earth.
  • STEP 3 - Raise the hands gradually, palms facing upwards, in the same sitting position. The Anjali hasta is formed by twisting both wrists in a complete rotation over the head. The dancer closes his eyes and prays for God's blessings.
  • STEP 4 - The same hand gesture is made in front of the forehead to respect the Guru.
  • STEP 5 - The dancer then stands up and repeats the hand gesture at chest level, bowing down slightly. This position denotes greeting the audience and accepting their blessing.
  • STEP 6 - Finally, the dancer assumes the kathak standing posture and strikes the right foot with the first step.

A dancer should repeat the Namaskar at the end of dance practice or performance, appreciating God's blessings, Guru's blessings, and the audience's appreciation. After that, the Namaskar's steps can be changed.

Purpose of Namaskar In Indian Classical Dance

A Namaskar is a dance technique that is used to close a dance practice or performance. Namaskar is thought to be necessary for all forms of Indian classical dance before stamping the feet on the ground. Before and after each dance, the dancer must beg Mother Earth for permission and perform the Namaskar.

The dancer also begs for God's blessings and respects the Guru during practice or performance. The dancer also bows to the musicians, stage, and audience to demonstrate respect. Namaskar contains a set of steps that must be followed in order. The manner in which Namaskar is performed varies among classical dance genres, but the aim of Namaskar stays the same. Namaskar is still done in the same way.

In Kathak, there are usually two types of Namaskar. On the first day of dancing class, a pupil would learn the first variation from their Guru. Kathak dancers typically use this form of Namaskar for Riyaaz or regular practice. For Kathak performances on the Rangmanch or stage, the second variation of Namaskar is used.

Namaskar is Performed for the Following Reasons -

  • To beseech Mother Earth for permission and pardon.
  • To seek God's blessings.
  • To greet the Guru and ask for his blessings.
  • To extend a warm welcome to the audience.

Remember to do Namaskar, or greeting the deities in all directions and to the earth, at the beginning and end of the dance. In Kathak Namaskar, the dancer begins by standing in the Kathak position. This posture is achieved with both thumbs and forefingers contacting each other and palms facing down. Then both hands are placed at the level of the chest.

Kathak dancers perform in a standing position. So a dancer must do the Namaskar steps in the correct order. So one should always keep on Riyaaz.

Kathak is an Indian classical dance form that results from years of diverse cultural influences on the art that originated with the storytellers of ancient temples. Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word "Kath," which means "Story."

Conclusion

Kathak incorporates elements of temple and ritual dances and Persian and Central Asian dances. Kathak is known for its intricate footwork and spins and abhinaya, or the art of expression. If you want your child to learn this beautiful Indian classical masterpiece, please enrol them in an online Kathak learning class.

Online classes have gained huge popularity in this post COVID-19 era. Kafqa Academy offers the best Kathak online learning classes, so give this a try!

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