|The Kathak dance form originated in the north and at first
was very similar to the Bharatanatyam. Persian and Muslim influences later
altered the dance from a temple ritual to a courtly entertainment. The
influence of the Mughal tradition is evident in this dance form, and it
has a distinct Hindu-Muslim texture.
The dances are performed straight-legged and the ankle bells worn by the dancers adeptly controlled. Kathak has an exciting and entertaining quality with intricate footwork and rapid pirouettes being the dominant and most endearing features of this style. The costumes and themes of these dances are often similar to those in Mughal miniature paintings.
Though not similar to the Natyasastra, the principles in Kathak are essentially the same. Here, the accent is more on footwork as against the emphasis on hasta mudras or hand formations in Bharatanatyam.