Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh, India.
This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers. Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of the bhakti movement. From the 16th century onwards it absorbed certain features of Persian dance and Central Asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era.
The name Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story, and katthaka in Sanskrit means he who tells a story, or to do with stories.
There are three major schools or gharanas of Kathak from which performers today generally draw their lineage: the gharanas of Benares (born in the courts of the Kachwaha Rajput kings, the Nawab of Oudh, and Varanasi respectively), Jaipur and Lucknow ; there is also a less prominent (and later) Raigarh gharana which amalgamated technique from all three preceding gharanas but became famous for its own distinctive compositions.