Kathak which is a major classical dance forms of North
India literally means a story-teller or Kathakar. In ancient India,
there were Kathakars or bards who used to recite religious and mythological
tales to the accompaniment music, mime and dance. These rahapsodists
and minstrels were associated with temples and shrines. Their particular
dance-forms, which had its origin in simple story-telling, later came
to be known as Kathak.
Kathak is danced by both men and women.
A Kathak dancer is not required strictly to adhere to fixed steps and stages in a fixed order. He or she can change the sequence of stages
to suit his or her aptitude and style of dancing. There is a sort of
contest during the performance in which the drummer plays and weaves
a complex design which in turn is danced by the dancer, specially in
the item which is technically known as jagaj dikhana. It is a kind of
friendly challenge and competition between the two full of innovations