Kathak dance form has originated from North India. It is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances. This is one of the oldest form of dance. From 16th century onwards, it absorbed few features of Persian dance and Central Asian dance through royal courts of Mughal era.
This dance form has its traces from nomadic bards of olden North India. It was known as Kathakas. This means stories. It was performed in village squares an d temples mostly mythological and moral stories were recited with a beautiful mix of hand gestures and facial expressions were the main attractions. The stories were enliven with instrumental and vocal music.
The three major schools (gharanas) of Kathak , which are mainly followed today are school of Jaipur, Lucknow and Banaras. One more gharana formed with an amalgamation of all the above said three forms later which is known as Raigarh gharana. But it is less prominent and famous for its special compositions.
Kathaka denotes the person who tells the story. Later it is simplified and became Kathak.