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Raga und Tanz

This project gives you a special delight in indian Kathak dance and Raga music. The Kathak dancer Sohini Debnath accompanied by vocalist Sudokshina Chatterjee and tabla player Subrata Manna along with german percussionist Peter Krämer familiarize their audience to the rich culture of the indian subcontinent.  

Kathak originates in northern India. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers. These bards, performing in village squares and temple courtyards, mostly specialized in recounting mythological and moral tales from the scriptures, and embellished their recitals with hand gestures and facial expressions. It was quintessential theatre, using instrumental and vocal music along with stylized gestures, to enliven the stories.

There are many striking similarities between Kathak and the Flamenco dance of the Spanish gitanos, most notably in the lack of much deviation from the vertical axis, percussive footwork, and dependence on sometimes complex rhythmic cycles. 

It is generally supposed that the  gipsys emigrated from India sometime in the 11th century. One group would later enter Spain via North Africa, having first passed westward through Persia and the fringes of the Ottoman Empire. The itinerant gipsys carried their Indian art forms' traditions with them and absorbed new influences as they travelled.

Now of course the two traditions have had some seven or eight centuries in which to diverge; yet it is remarkable that the similarities between the two remained flamboyant.