ELEMENTS of IMPROVISATION
1. The Kathak body stance & stage conventions
Kathak has origins in the village storytelling style katha vaachak - literally meaning "story speaker" - from the Sanskrit root vaak - speech. Kathak's lingering folk elements contribute to the informality of many of Kathak's storytelling techniques, and to the ease with which performers can improvise. Performed with an upright torso carried on straight legs and loose knees, Kathak can cover space with an un-stylized gait, which is close to ordinary human movement. With the continuity of its upright stance for both nritta and nritya (pure dance and storytelling), Kathak can seamlessly transition into the distinctive gaits of all kinds of characters in its stories, uninterrupted by the need to return periodically to a style-imposed position such as Bharatanatyam's araimandi , the "half-sitting" pose , or Odissi's tribhanga - "thrice-bent "- pose .
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