Krishna Katha, The Stories of Prince Krishna

Krishna Katha, The Stories of Prince Krishna is a kathak dance performance given by Annjali Shah as part of the 10th edition of the CinéMasala Indian Film Festival, a festival to discover the Indian subcontinent differently. Kathak is a pure and narrative dance, traditional from northern India. It is one of the ten classical dances of India. Of religious origin, the kathak evolved during the Islamic period towards a more entertaining form. The current kathak is thus a synthesis of two sources: sacred and secular. The word kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha which means story, or from katthaka which means one who tells a story. Storytellers (kathakara) were attached to the temples in Uttar Pradesh, where Krishna was born. The sacred texts, the Ramayana or the Bhagavad-Gita, were sung and mimed to be transmitted to an illiterate public. After the propitiatory introduction, the passages of pure dance and narrative alternate, and the circular movements of the hands and wrists give this art a characteristic style. The dance begins gradually and the rhythm picks up. Less rigid than Bharata Natyam, Kathak nevertheless leaves little room for improvisation. The dancer must have great physical qualities while keeping a certain grace despite the speed of execution of his dance. In addition, kathak relies as much on the movements of the feet as on those of the hands. The kathak is also characterized by pirouette movements and various postures called "statuesque".