Vol. 4, Issue 4 (2018)
The Rāsa-Līlā tradition with Relevance to Kathak
Author(s): Varada Pandit
Abstract: India is the land of legends. The stories from Purāna-s, Itihāsa, Gāthā-s, etc were transferred down the generations through oral tradition. The art of storytelling gave rise to many performing art forms including dance and drama. The Bhakti movement gave rise to many sects, amongst which Vaishnavism became the religion of masses. The Kṛṣṇa legends became the popular means to propagate Vaiṣṇava philosophy through dance and drama. Rāsa-Līlā –the theatrical presentations of Vrindavan-Mathura, and Kathak the classical dance form of North India, celebrated the Kṛṣṇa theme through dance and music. Both these ancient art forms had their origins in the art of storytelling and share the same period of their revival. On these grounds they have similarities in content, and essence. The Rāsa-Līlā and Kathak are the living traditions of the ancient Indian Heritage.