Anu-Rag School of Music


Kathak is one of the eight styles of Indian classical dance. The word “Kathak” means telling a story or storyteller. It began when people from India recited or sang stories from mythology or other kinds of stories. Kathak has originated from northern India and were passed from generation to generation making more new art forms along the way. These different variations were called “Gharanas” which means “School of thoughts” with specific modifications to the movement or style of Kathak. The four main types of Gharanas are Jaipur Gharana, Lucknow Gharana, Banaras Gharana, and Raigarh Gharana. For example, Lucknow Gharana concentrated on mostly expressions and gracefulness with a bit of elegance combined while, Jaipur gives more importance on perplexing footwork with a lot of spins (chakkars) and gives complicated tala patterns that are confusing (to me) yet, exciting at the same time. Banaras Gharana uses mostly Dance and Natwari bols instead of Tabla bols. Chakkars are not used often but have a great effect when applied. Both left and right spins can be seen with utterly charm.  Lastly, Raigarh Gharana has a unique style of dancing with a little bit of each from other Gharanas. This Gharana makes a unique environment for dancers. Kathak, in overall is an exquisite and engaging dance style. Since this is originated from northern India, Hindustani Classical music is used along for dances. Kathak has propelling and complicated footwork with spins added resulting in the style to be lively and vibrant. I am so fortunate to learn both Music and dance.

Guru Sitara Devi and Glossary of Kathak: Ankita Shree Pandurangi

Sitara Devi was born on November 8th, 1920 in Kolkata India.  Her teacher was her father (who is Shri Sukkhdev Maharaj Misra).  Even though Sitara Devi was part of the Banaras Gharana she also learned the style of the Lucknow Gharana.  Sitara Devi moved to Mumbai at a young age and there she impressed Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore with a 3 hour recital at the age of 11.  Tagore wanted to Give Sitara Devi a shawl but she didn’t want the shawl, she wanted his blessings to become a great Kathak dancer.  That is one thing I like about her.  Sitara Devi has gotten the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.  On November 25th, 2014 Mumbai India at age 94 Sitara Devi died.  Sitara Devi is a great motivator for me. 

1. Tatkar: A basic rhythmic footwork, 2. Tarana: A composition with words or syllables. 3. Thaat: A fundamental mode and basis for the classification of all Ragas. 4. Amad: Greeting the audience at first entrance. 5. Tihai: Rhythmic bols which repeat 3 times. 6. Tukda: A short dance composition 7. Teen Taal: A cycle of 16 Beats. 8. Kavita: Poems narrating episodes.

About Authors

My name is Amoolya Raghu Pandurangi and I am in 6th grade at Barnwell Middle. My name is Ankita Shree Pandurangi in 4th Grade, Beck-David Elementary. We are St Louis Pandurangi sisters. We both take dance lessons from Guru Prasanna Kasthuri (specifically, Kathak). We both learn Hindustani Classical Music from my lovely mom, Guru Sandhya Pandurangi and practice my music with Tabla by my Pappa Raghu Pandurangi. We both are taking piano lessons from Miss Anzhelica.