Kathak dance is a combination of music, dance and narrative. The name Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers. The present day Kathak dance mainly depends on the medieval period Ras Lila, a local dance in the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh. Kathak became highly stylised in both Hindu and Muslim courts and came to be regarded as a sophisticated form of entertainment. There are three major schools or gharanas of Kathak from which performers today generally draw their lineage. These include the Lucknow Gharana, Jaipur Gharana and the Banaras Gharana.
Noted Kathak exponents are: Shambhu Maharaj, Sitara Devi, Pandit Birju Maharaj