All the major dance styles of the Indian subcontinent share a common root system of ethical and aesthetic values. Hence no single style can claim to be 'purer' or 'older' than any other. Kathak - the style that grew, took shape and flourished in the northern regions of the sub-continent - has been misunderstood and misinterpreted on account of ignorance and prejudice from various quarters. This book sets out, therefore, to rectify incorrect perceptions by presenting historical facts and placing Kathak dance in its proper cultural context.
The background of the dance is explained in detail; the religious, social and political influences over the centuries are recounted; myth, theory and reality are expounded upon; current trends are described and future possibilities examined; and, not least, the sheer beauty of Kathak is exposed to both the eye and the intellect.
This book provides not only information on technique and training but also tells the dance lover what to look for in a typical Kathak performance. It will, indeed, assist the reader better to appreciate and understand a great dance style.
The names and addresses of recognized dance schools and teachers, both in India and abroad, will prove useful as will the glossary and bibliography.
India's Kathak Dance: Past, Present, Future is essential reading for all those who wish to be acquainted with India's immense cultural and artistic achievements.
Reginald Massey has studied the history, culture, music, dance and film of the Indian subcontinent for many years and has written on these subjects for leading international publications. He has written the Asian dance section for The Encyclopaedia of Dance and Ballet and the Indian music entry for Everyman's Encyclopaedia. He is a critic for The Dancing Times of London and The Dances of India and The Music of India, which he and his wife Jamila Massey have co-authored, are standard works.
His other titles include The Splintered Mirror, All India, Indian Dances: Their History and Growth, Asian Dance in Britain, The Immigrants and Lament of a Lost Hero and Other Poems which was awarded the Michael Madhusudan Dutt Literary Prize. He wrote and produced Bangladesh I Love You, a film which starred the boxing phenomenon Muhammad Ali. In October 1996, his research paper on Kathak was presented as the keynote address before the All Pakistan Music Conference in Lahore.
Of Indian origin, Reginald Massey was born in Lahore in 1932 and now lives in Wales. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
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