Kathak, the beautiful form of Indian classical dances finds its roots in `katha` meaning 'story'. A band of storytellers attached to temples in Northern India, narrated stories from epics. Later they added mime and gesture to their recitation. The popularity of the Radha-Krishna legend, led to further innovations in the dance form. With the advent of the Muslim rule, it was brought out of the temples and in to the courts of the rulers. Since then it has been commonly identified with the court traditions of the later Nawabs of northern India.
It is really an amalgam of several folk traditions, the traditional dance drama forms prevalent in the temples of Mathura and Vrindavan known as Krishna and Radha - Lila. Jaipur, Benaras and Lucknow became the main centers of the dance. While Benaras maintained the purity of the dance, Jaipur gave emphasis to rhythm and Lucknow introduced erotic steps. The Kathak dance goes through a regular format, mostly concentrating on rhythm,its variation being - Tatkar, Paltas, Thoras, Amad and Parans.