Posted in ABOUT KATHAK, INFORMATION

Definitions in Kathak

BASIC DEFINITIONS IN KATHAK-



There are many basic definitions in Kathak that we need to know so that we can understand what we are performing. If I begin with teentaal then there are terms like taali, khali, vibhag ,chanda, and matra…..every taal has thaat, salami,amad ,tukda, toda, Paran,chakradar toda, chakradar Paran,Kavitta ,tehai and tatkar.

To start with first let’s know the basic definitions that we are gonna come across many times ….

Taali: Taali means clapping. When we say a bol we start with a clap and then use our fingers to represent the matras that have names….I’ll tell you these bols which I am talking about….if you have ever heard of – tigdha dig dig…or maybe -ta thei thei tat then these are the bols that we represent on our hands and taali is a part of it…..

Taali( clap)
Using fingers to represent matras on the palm of our hand.
Using fingers to represent matras on the palm of our hand.

Khali: When we say a bol for example,salami on our hands, then we already know the use of our fingers and taali,khali is the wave of our hand. When we start saying the bol on our fingers rather than pressing them on your palm it’s called khali. Hope the picture below helps to understand…

Khaali( representing matras with fingers on the lines of our hands)

Matra: Matra is the syllable or syllables that every bol has…. Like teentaal had 16 matras which means a total of 16 syllables….. Here’s the bol of teentaal-

Dha dhin dhin dha / dha dhin dhin dha/
+                                  2
Naa tin tin na / tete dhin dhin dha
0                            3
Dha
+

The +,2,0 and 3 that you can see are nothing but signs that represent the taali and khali of a bol which I have  already explained in the post….+ shows the starting, 2 is the second taali, 3 is the third taali and 0 which lies between them is a khaali…. the last + sign represent Sam (som) that I have described further in the post…

Vibhag: Each bol or taal has a fixed number of syllabes or matra…these matra(s) are divided in different sections when we say them on our hands… These sections could be taali(s) or khali (s) with different or equal number of matras like teentaal has a total of 16 matras and 4 vibhags each having 4 matras….it has 3 taali and one khali….so these sections or divisions are vibhags

Chanda: Chanda is the number of matras in each vibhag for example teentaal has 4 vibhags and it’s chanda is 4/4/4/4 which means that each vibhag has 4 matras…..when the vibhags of a taal has equal number of matras then it is called samapadi chanda (hard to pronounce?…I understand) but if it has unequal number of matras then it’s called asamapadi chanda….jhaptaal is an common example of asamapadi chanda as the vibhags have unequal number of matras (2/3/2/3)….

Sam: Sam ( pronounced as som more commonly) is the last taali of a bol and represent the end of the bol… This taali is not counted if we have to say the number of taali in a taal for example in teental there are three taali ,the first one, the second one and the third one but not the last one ( dha)……

The last clap( Som)

Alright guys..that’s it for today’s post….hope you enjoyed reading it….and also gained some information about Kathak…I am gonna come up with more such definitions that you need to know in Kathak…. Don’t forget to subscribe, follow, like and comment and adjust view my other posts

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Author:

I am a dancer and a student. While I am still learning Kathak,I share my experience and Kathak tutorial. I ain't a really good poet but I love writing.And yes I am extremely frank. Overall I can say that I am a person with both positive and negative attitude. And obviously,I love dancing.

6 thoughts on “Definitions in Kathak

  1. I am so happy to hear that you found the post helpful. I can understand that the words are really puzzling and sometimes they are tough to pronounce but keep practicing and you'll get them right. Hope you like the upcoming posts too!!!!

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  2. Thank you Anu,I am a new comer to Kathak. Throughly enjoy it but the words are quite mind boggling at times. This info is very helpful. Geetha x

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  3. Taal is the concept of time, western dances looks at mastering space, while Indian dancing is about time, which is why we talk of the three kalas, each matra we use in a Tala is indicative of the time like in singing between a laghu and a druta is a grama,… well this is a blog in itself

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