The term Kathak is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit word Katha which means story, the person who narrates the story is called Kathakar, Kathak dancers narrate various stories through their hand and body movements, facial expressions and extensive foot works. Kathak originates within Hindu temples as a storytelling means for portraying the glorious tales from Hindu scriptures like Mahabharata and Ramayana. Kathak is one of the famous Indian classical dance forms which initially started as a folk dance, it is the combination of three performing arts that is music, dance, and drama. Kathak evolved during the bhakti movement especially by incorporating childhood stories of Lord Krishna. Out of eight Indian classical dance forms, Kathak is the only dance form to come from North India.
It is the best time to adopt a new hobby, Due to the outbreak of pandemic the importance of health and fitness has come to our nerves. Exercising daily will help in maintaining better health and save us from various health issues. When dancing Kathak one can perform slow, subtle movements, as well as rapid, rhythmic movement, Online Kathak class, allows you to learn at your own pace and make you confident and bold for joining a regular class. This dance form also helps to fight arthritic pain, tones your body, increases stamina, and burns around 400-600 calories per session.
A dancer must cool down before starting a dance practice it comprises simple exercises which make the body and mind ready for the movement, The purpose of this is to increase the heart rate and get the blood flowing. Five best exercises for female Kathak dancers are:
It is footwork that highlights the dancer’s technical skill, stamina, and artistry, for warmup where you need a pulse to raise up best way is to do a tatkar in slow, speed, and fastest phase. Tatkar will help in increasing the blood circulation in the system and doing it for a good 10minutes helps in pulse raise up. Most kathak performances feature tatkar, the pattern and style vary on producing a sound from the feet.
Stretching before dance practice will help the muscles to relax, improve coordination, and benefit dancers to be in-tune with their body, furthermore, it improves the posture and maintains correct calibration with their body. It has various benefits such as injury prevention, flexibility, muscle awareness, etc. stretching plays important role in easing stress and relaxation as it reduces fatigue in muscles and improves blood flow. Always remember to do stretching on the yoga mat, as a cold floor can damage your muscles and joints.
3. Wrist movement
For dancers, wrists helps in executing choreography and expressing the movements. Our hands and wrist need constant movement and stretching for joints in order to function smoothly and allow the dancers to perform the deeper movement with graceful ease. Develop the routine of warming up and stretching your hands and wrists before dancing, colder the muscle it is difficult to stretch effortlessly, as it is more vulnerable to tearing if forced. As a dancer caring for your hands and wrists is like caring for your whole body doing these simple exercises can be beneficial.
4. Glute bridge
It will increase your turnout by targeting your hips and making all your leg movements look stronger, this exercise is often seen in warmup segments. The glute bridge warm-up movement increases neurological activation and prepares dancers for an upcoming dance training session. Doing this exercise will benefit in improving posture, good balance, and decreased back pain as it strengthens the core muscles and improves your performance.
5. Breathing exercise
Breathing exercise will improve the blood pressure and strengthen the cardiovascular muscles, strong respiratory muscles will enable the dancer to dance for a longer period and stay focused and alert. Deep breathing helps in improving blood circulation and lung capacity, controlled breathing is effective in relieving tension among dancers and easing the movements. Dancers should use inhalation to affirm the growing movement and exhalation will enhance the shrinking movements.
Do warmup exercise according to the need that you are going to perform and riyaz should be done on that particular part of the body which needs to be used more so that it is ready to absorb and recreate, you can also design your own set of warm-up and cooldowns. A safe warmup gently increases the body temperature and helps to avoid injuries, one must never feel tired after the warmup it should always contain simple and low impact movements. It must contain exercise for ankles, knees, hips, shoulder, wrists, and spine with 6 to 8 repetitions of each exercise, and it should make you feel relaxed and warm before starting your dance practice. Performing these exercise prepare female dancers mentally and physically, increases coordination, and reduces the risk of injury. Being a dancer it is important to exercise in order to strengthen the body for longer movements.