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The post-Christ era

This was the formative stage of Kathak, whence its form and spirit matured and it proceeded towards adulthood as a highly individualistic dance.

Since this was the era of dynastic rule, the dance gradually started fulfilling an additional function of entertaining the royal entourages while in transit or on adventurous ventures like war or hunting expeditions. Notably, this was the first step in Kathak’s long journey of evolution from pure art to applied art, whereby its practice started embodying the audience’s preferences and choices in the act.

The devotional movement or the Bhaktiras spread throughout the northern and central plains of the Indian sub-continent during this time. A dominant socio-cultural-religious aspect of this movement was Krishnalila or Raslila, and soon, Kathak’s narratives too meshed with these profound tales of ethereal, apparently metaphysical love, adoration and devotion between Lord Krishna and Gopis, his female companions, especially, Radha. In order to adapt to this ornamental, dramatically romanticised and highly aesthetic spirit of dance, many innovations and renovations were imbibed in Kathak’s technical parlance.

 
  
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