Kathak, is one of the 8 major classical dance forms of india and hails from the northern part of India. The word "Kathak" is derived from the root 'Katha' , which means a story and hence Kathak means a story teller. In ancient times the knowledge of Epics and mythology was conveyed by these "Kathakas", who used to sit in the temples and sing these stories along with suitable hand gestures, expressions and dancing to make the story more entertaining. Apart from the story telling aspect, Kathak is also known for its use of fast footwork, dizzying pirouettes and rhythmic patterns.
From being performed in temples during the "Bhakti era" to being performed in royal courts during the Moghul era, the dance form has evolved in many ways, incorporating components from each of these eras.
There are three different schools of Kathak–the three different families who have created their own distinctive style through many generations. The three schools are - the Benaras Gharana, the Lucknow Gharana and the Jaipur Gharana.