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Variety in Kathak Chakkars and Different Types Of Steps

6th May, 2022

Kathak is a north Indian classical dance form that can further be divided into three types, or "Gharanas," named after the places where the Kathak dance tradition originated: Jaipur, Banaras, and Lucknow. The Jaipur Gharana emphasises foot motions, whereas the Banaras and Lucknow gharanas emphasise beautiful facial expressions and hand movements.

A chakkar is a spinning circle or a turn or pirouette. It is an important part of the Kathak dance steps in the Jaipur Gharana, and trainees at Kathak classes start practising it at a young age to acquire the form, technique, and endurance needed to do exact chakkars.

A skilled artist can do over a hundred chakkars in a row, either in an arced circle or in a static position. This is accomplished by having the head initiate the spin and snap around while the rest of the body follows. When completing the circle, the dancer's arms also assist in increasing their momentum.

In Kathak dance, step chakkar is to take a turn about oneself on a central vertical axis. So Bhramari is another name for Chakkar. Chakkars are of different steps: one, two, three, etc.; the chakkars draw their names from the number of steps on which they are executed.

The following are some varieties of chakkars and their specific syllables.

3-Step Chakkar: Tat Tat Thai

5-Step Chakkar: Tig Dha Dig Dig Thai

8-Step Chakkar: Tig Dha Dig Dig Tig Dha Dig Dig

#1 Tatkar

Tatkar is a type of footwork. The rhythms and methods vary significantly, and the emphasis is on making a sound with both the feet and the ghungroos (bells). Tatkar, which showcases a dancer's technical talent, stamina, and artistry, is seen in almost all Kathak performances.

Standing Posture of Tatkar

When starting, the feet are held in a samapada position; both hands are clasped at chest level, keeping the spine erect.

  • Process - The tatkaar noises are created by stamping the feet on the ground. The dancer begins the tatkaar by stamping "ta" with the right foot, then "Thai" with the left foot, then alternatively stamping for "thai and tat." Then repeat from the left side on "Aa," then "thai" on the right foot, stamping alternately for "thai and tat."

#2 Chakkar

An Example of Executing a 3-Step Chakkar is Given Below

  • Step 1: Open both arms, turn the body slightly to the left and strike the right foot on syllabus 'Tat.'
  • Step 2: Turn the wrist, palms facing downwards,. Now turn the body slowly to the left and strike the left foot on the syllable tat.
  • STEP 3: Take a turn by lifting the right foot and returning. For the basic Kathak posture, bring both hands in Arala mudra and keep them at the chest level and strike the right foot on syllable thai.

An Example of Executing a 5-Step Chakkar is Given Below -

  • Step 1: Open both arms, palm facing up. Now turn the body slightly to the left and strike the right foot on the syllable Tig.
  • Step 2: Turn the wrists and palms facing downwards, turn the body gradually to the left and strike the left foot on syllable Dha.
  • Step 3: Take a turn by lifting the right foot and striking the right foot on syllable Dig.
  • Step 4: Bring the body to the front. Also, bring both arms together, holding Arala mudra, keep near the chest level, and strike the left foot on a syllable Dig.
  • Step 5: Now, in the same basic Kathak posture, strike the right foot on the syllable Tha.

An Example of Executing the 8-Step Chakkar is Given Below -

  • Step 1: Open both arms slightly while turning the body to the left and strike the right foot on syllable Tig.
  • Step 2: Turn gradually to the left side, showly open your arms and strike the left foot on syllable Dha.
  • Step 3: Open the arms further, turn the body to the left, and strike the right foot on syllable Dig.
  • Step 4: Turn your body 90 degrees to the left. Keep your arms open, and strike the left heel on syllable Dig.
  • Step 5: Turn the wrists, palms facing downwards, strike the left foot on syllable Tig.
  • Step 6: Take a turn by lifting the right foot, simultaneously bringing both arms back to the Kathak basic standing posture, and strike the right foot on syllable Dha.
  • Step 7: While maintaining the same standing posture, strike the left foot on syllable Dig.
  • Step 8: Maintain the same Kathak posture as above and now strike your right foot on syllable Dig.

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Conclusion

Kathak is a traditional dance genre that features many Chakkars in a performance. As a result, you will be given a lot of time and training as a trainee. Chakkars come in a variety of styles, each with its technique. It is critical to seek advice from a guru who can teach you everything you need to know.

KAFQA Academy offers the best Kathak classes with some exclusive key features like small batch size, 1:1 monitoring, regular classes, and minimal fees. Enrol your child in KAFQA Academy today and they will help you master the dance form.



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