The book traces the history of Kathaka from ancient to the medieval period: its origin and continuous evolution in a struggle for existence through a process involving fusion, diffusion and adaptation. It studies its etymological meaning in a painstaking effort which involves a discussion on the influence of Kathakya Acarya, Sage Katha and the generic similarities between Rasalila, Hallisaka, Carcari, Rasa, and present-day Kathaka. It shows that Kathaka has an ancient origin and is an indigenous Indian dance. It deals with the three distinct sections that form the present-day Kathaka. Surveying a host of religious and secular literature including the Natyashastra, the Abhinaya Darpana and the Sangita Ratnakara and referring to sculptural reliefs from temples and illustrations from manuscripts including the Akbar-Nama, it undertakes a detailed and illuminating study of gestures, postures, movements and stances of Kathaka.
An attempt to help readers gain a better insight into the Kathaka dance, the volume will interest practitioners and lovers of classical dance forms of India.