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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #1 
Nice to see a dance forum on again.
8)
Are there many on the other forums that have actually considered learning Indian classical dance as a supplement to their learning sitar/tabla/sarod etc? Certainly something of the intricacies of Indian dance rhythms anyway.

Although I started out learning sitar while I was still at high school in the UK in 1978, I decided I'd like to do something more visual and, as I had amassed a bit of knowledge of Hindusthani style, I opted for kathak. This was in London in the early 80s & I was with Alpana Sen-Gupta in Lucknow gharana. I had about 18 months with her, going down to London every weekend from near Manchester in the north west.

I don't recall why I stopped but later on, in the 90s, I had the good fortune to study Bharatanatyam with Sheila Cove (Shakunthala) in Bacup quite near my home town of Nelson near Burnley, north west lancs.

Her guru, Balasundari, trained at Kalakshetra in Madras now Chennai starting in the 50s. Her fellow classmates were the Dhanajayans & well as other, now well known, dancers. Sheila & her friend Jasmine had the first double Arangetram (1st public dance performance) in the UK in 1974.

I stayed with this teacher for 6 & a half years with an occasional visit from Bala & the Dhanajayans, when they came to the UK, to learn more items & ways of doing movements.

Any tabla player or percussionist studying Indian talas/talam will know of the obvious differences between north & south drums let alone the actual sounds produced.
Dance syllables are almost completely different from tabla/mridangam bols.

Have any dancers reading this ever considered, if not already having done so, learning tabla or mridangam for a while at least?

Nick
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nautchwali

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wow - how long has this been here?? Maybe I should scroll down more often.

As I think I wrote in another thread, I was drawn to Kathak because of its rhythmic nature. I've taken Kathak dance classes on and off, in Canada and in India, for nine years now. I've done a little performng, but never reached a point where I felt competent to teach. However, I've always been surrounded by tabla players - I stay with a Kathak Kendra tabla vadak when I'm in Delhi (his wife used to be a Kathak dancer too). I took a year of tabla lessons in Toronto back in 1999-2000, and just recently, about three weeks of lessons with my host in Delhi.

In Sanskrit, Sangit means music AND dance - a recognition of what to me (and it looks like to you, Nick) seems obvious, that music and dance are really the same thing. Both are made up of patterned movements and sounds expressing something human. The difference is that in dance you are moving your whole body, and in music you are only moving part of it (your fingers, or vocal chords, or whatever).

There are lots of cross-overs with tabla and kathak, and with mridangam and BN. I hope some of the other musicians come to this forum from time to time.

Keep Naaching
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Aanaddha

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Reply with quote  #3 
Perhaps you or someone would post some basic dance bols and an accompanying tabla/pakhawaj composition for comparison? Sometime in the next day or two I'll try uploading the Birju Maharaj / Ajoy Chakrabarty segments that were on ITC-SRA website recently to google video and post the link here. Those are two of my all-time favorite vids and I've watched them each about 50 times already and always see something new!

A.

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If he could sing, and nature to accompany him, what need would he have for an instrument?
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #4 
Sri A

Very simple bols for first lesson of Kathak using teental

Ta Tei Tei Ta, Ta Tei Tei Ta, Aa Tei Tei Ta , Ta Tei Tei Ta

DhaDhinDhinDha,DhaDhinDhinDha,NA Tin Tin Ta, Ta DhinDhinDha

R L R L, L R L R, R L R L, L R L R

On using the same leg when starting the next set of 4 beats, the heel is put slightly forward rather than just stamped. This, again empasizes 16 instead of just 8 beats. As I said, it IS very simple to start with anyway.

God, this takes me back.

Nick
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nautchwali

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Reply with quote  #5 
Good thing to start with Nick! This step is called "tatkar," as I'm sure you know. I know the bols as:

Taa Thei Thei Tat - Aa Thei Thei Tat

At high speeds, you modify it to step only on the first of each four, and just tap your heels on the "thei-s"

There is also a footwork actually called "Nadhidhina" You cross the right toe behind the left foot. "Na" is right toe. First "Dhi" is left heel; second "Dhi" is left foot (flat). Then the final "Na" is the right toe again. This is often used as a "travelling" footwork. Done fast, and well, you glide along the floor.

Here's a piece - basic Kathak paran (or paran aamad)

Dha Ta Ka Thun-ga - Dha ghe
Dhi ghe Ta - Dha dhin ta -
Dhet ta kiredha Tak a thung a
Takitete Ka - Tite kata gadi ghena
DHA!

Best to all,
Nautchwali
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Aanaddha

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Reply with quote  #6 
Tripmunk, Nautch,
Thanks. Here's the Birju Maharaj clip.. it's out of sync because it's converted from a realvideo file, but still inspiring.

N.,
The paran aamad, can you re-notate the fit the taal? Looks more like it was meant for pakhawaj than tabla.

A.

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If he could sing, and nature to accompany him, what need would he have for an instrument?
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nautchwali

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Aanaddha,

Yes, paran is a genre shared by pakawaj and kathak, which uses pakhawaj bols. I meant to write it in taal, but now I look at it, I can see how it is confusing (especially since I didn't tell you the taal!). I tried to put the matras under each bol, but the spacing doesn't show up when I preview, so I've just put the beginning of each vibhag. The dash (-) is an empty beat. You can dance this in vilambit, or drut, and there are all kinds of variations, especially in adding fancy endings with lots of spins.

Second try:

Kathak Paran in Tintal

Dha Ta Ka Thun
X

Ga - Dha Ghe
5

Dhi Ghe Ta -
0

Dha Dhin Ta -
13

Dhet Ta Kire Dha
X

Tak Ka Thun Ga
5

Taki Teta Ka -
0

Tite Kata Gadi Ghena
13

Dha
X

The bol "thunga" is one bol (in the dance) and nasalized.

As well as parans and footwork, there are also tukras which use "dance bols." These bols correspond fairly closely to tabla bols, but there are a few (like thei) which don't exist in the tabla vocabulary. There are some older ways of playing kathak bols which are very exact, but most tabla players don't know them or don't use them as most dancers don't know them or don't want them. I think they (these special renderings) may be a legacy of the Lucknow gharana of tabla players, rather than the Varanasi gharana (who of course are relations of the Lucknow hereditary Kathaks).

There's also lots of expressive dance (abhinaya), but only gat nikas has a few bols.

Nautch
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Aanaddha

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Reply with quote  #8 
Oops, forgot to post the link ops: ...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1148502907849354172

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If he could sing, and nature to accompany him, what need would he have for an instrument?
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trippy monkey

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Posts: 4,281
Reply with quote  #9 
Sri A
Like the 'Tripmunk', I might use that if I may.

Has anyone got any footage to swap as I have quite a bit from UK tv in the 80s & 90s, also a little more from later progs.

I have a 30 min interview of Sri Maharaj-ji & Saswati Sen by Nahid Siddiqui from the BBC. With some smaller pieces of him too.

Various other artists such as Uma Sharma, Durga Lal, Gopi Krishna, Pratap & Priya Pawar. I have the VCD from Doordarshan with Maharaj-ji & Durga Lalji playing along with G Krishna as well as the first piece being a FAR TOO SMALL clip of Lacchu Maharaj explaining an abhinaya. A full prog of a student of Sri Pawarji called Akram Khan in London & India. He really has great dynamics but, unfortunately, in trying to get funding I suspect, has had to 'water' his Kathak down with contemporary as shown in said prog.

I don't know if this has happened 'over the pond' but it's been going on now for very many years here in the UK, that one has to 'mix' dances (ie east & west) to get funding as the pure stuff won't 'do'.
A disgraceful state of affairs & just shows how ignorant & stupid some authorities are. I'm sure we all agree on the point.

Nautchwali. I had the same problem with spacing too.
The paran you give is a very well known one & one we learned in a Gopi Krishna workshop in the mid 80s. Someone, somewhere, has that video footage of us all doing this but I never thought to find out at the time how to get a copy.
You're almost getting me interested again. 8)

Nick
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nautchwali

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Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #10 
Okay, here's a chakradhar tukra (or tatkar ki bandish):

Tintal - drut lay

Tigdha digdig thei
X

Tat- Tat-
2

Tat- Tigdha digdig
0

Thei ta Thei-i
3

ta Thei-i ta
X

Thei- Tigdha digdig
2

Thei- Tat
0

Tat- Tat-
3

Tigdha digdig Thei ta
X

Thei-i ta Thei
2

i ta Thei-
0

Tigdha digdig Thei
3

Tat Tat
X

Tat Tigdha digdig
2

Thei ta Thei-i
0

ta Thei-i ta
3

Thei!
X

Did you do this one, Nick? I'm sorry I have no videos to send you, but I am curious about compositions and how widely spread they are. I actually saw something on the tabla forum a while back that I had learned as a dance piece, but I wonder if Chitresh Das had choreographed it from a piece played (maybe composed) by Swapan Chaudhari.

I'm glad the three of us are talking (representing three "races" of naach wali, sitar wala and tabla wala ) but it would be good if more tabliyas joined in.

Be well
Nautch
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #11 
This tukra is familiar to me too. You ARE taking me back. 20 years to be precise. A similar one was taught to me.

It's funny as ,when I recite yours to myself, I can 'see' my arms moving.

Nick
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H1es-

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Reply with quote  #12 
Know it's an old thread, but the dha taka thunga discussion reminded me of something Maharaj-ji said once, that the nearly the whole of Kathak can be danced in these dha taka thunga compositions, because there are so many and they're very adaptable (e.g. for different taals and layas). (Of course it's nice to hear some other baants once in a while!)

H1es-
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teentaal

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #13 
Won Joung Jin is this South Korean woman who is a Kathak dancer and tabla player. Some of her videos of dance can be found here. http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=502955C6B127F276

I have had the opportunity to interact with her and discuss this topic exactly. For her, tabla has really helped in her understanding of rhythmic patterns, she feels a lot more comfortable than many other Kathak dancers she knows playing with beats as she has a very strong understanding of taals and rhythm in general. It works to her advantage that she can easily "convert" between tabla bols and Kathak bols. Mind you attempting to master both requires ALOT of time and dedication.

Birju Maharaj, Chitresh Das are examples of Kathak dancers who also play tabla. Playing Kathak on tabla is very different from playing pure tabla - lots more power is required and of course understanding how to convert Kathak into tabla bols, requires lots of practice, which is why you u of course can't assume a tabla player can do dance accompaniment.
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lamp123

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Reply with quote  #14 
Came across a good site on Kathak and other dances. Check out http://www.gaurijog.com. Gauri Jog is a teacher and choreographer based in Chicago.
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