A nine-member Kathak dance troupe, led by Luna Poddar, will perform in Egypt as part of the 30th International Citadel Festival for Singing and Music, from 15 to 20 August 2022.
The troupe is sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Government of India, and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, under the aegis of the Cultural Exchange Programme between India and Egypt.
The troupe will perform on 18 August at the Saladin Citadel in Cairo. It will also perform at the Anfoushy Cultural Palace in Alexandria on 19 August and Port Said Cultural Palace on 20 August. The entry to events in Alexandria and Port Said are free on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Kathak is one of the most important Indian classical dances that originated in North India. The word “Kathak” has been derived from the word Katha which means a story. In ancient days, “Kathakars” or story-tellers were people who narrated stories largely based on episodes from the epics, myths and legends. It probably started as an oral tradition with the later addition of expression and gestures to make the recitation more effective. This simple form of expressional dance later evolved into “Kathak”of today. This dance form received a new impetus during Mughal times as it witnessed its transition from temple courtyards to palaces. The nineteenth century saw the golden age of “Kathak” under the patronage of Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Oudh (now part of modern dayIndian State of Uttar Pradesh).The technique of movement in Kathak is unique to it. The Lucknow gharana, Jaipur gharana and Benaras gharana are the most important schools or centres of “Kathak” dance.
Luna Poddar, the leader of the troupe, has been a disciple of renowned Kathak maestros and an accomplished Artist herself. She has been awarded a number of prestigious awards in the field of Kathak. Poddar has performed in a large number of countries such as the UK, the Netherlands, Hongkong, Thailand, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates. Some of her memorable performances have been at the G8 Summit held at Birmingham in 1998, Koupio Dance Festival at Finland, and Year of Music and Dance Festival, Seoul (South Korea).