ANDAAZ-E-RAQS: The Moghul Aesthetic


Dancers Rani Khanam & Janaki Patrik. Photographer: Karen Robbins
Dancers Rani Khanam & Janaki Patrik. Photographer: Karen Robbins

  1. Dua : Prayer
    Aaye hath utha’en hum bhi… Come, let us lift our hands
    Text by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, 1910-1984
  2. Barbar-e-salaami
    The dancers present their technique in traditional Moghul court style, concluding with verses praising the great patron of Lucknow Kathak and Lucknow’s last Muslim ruler, Wajid Ali Shah (1823-1887) in poetry which he is said to have written.
  3. Dadra – in a six-beat time cycle
  4. Ghazal – Zehal-e-mskin … The sadness of my condition…
    Text by Harat Amir Khusrau (1253-1325)
    Alternating lines of medieval Hindi and Persian poetry, the poet expresses longing for the beloved – on both a physical and spiritual plane.
  5. Niz-bat – Tori surat ke balhari Nijam… Nijam, we ask your blessings
    Khursrau praises the Sufi saint Sheikh Nizammuddin Auliya Chisti, to whom he is devoted. The poem continues in the form of supplication sung at the tomb of a Sufi saint.
    Text by Hazrat Amir Khusrau
  6. Ghazal & Bahar – the dancers depict two women, who have interrupted their lighthearted play to reflect on the absent beloved.
    Texts – Apna dil pesh karun, apni vafa pesh karun… Should I present my heart, should I present my faithfulness…? Sahir Ludhyanavi, 20th Century
    Phool khile bagiyan main, aamad-e-fasal-e-bahar… Flowers are blooming in the garden; spring is coming Hazrat Amir Khusrau, 1253-1325

Andaaz-E-Raqs: The Moghul Aesthetic