Oldest dance-drama Kattik Naach hamstrung by financial crunch

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LALITPUR — The famous Kattik Naach, the traditional dance-drama, probably the world’s longest such dance festival, is constrained by lack of financial resources to keep it going.

The concerned stakeholders have expressed worry over this issue, saying one of the country’s valuable traditions might close down one day if not adequately funded by the State.

This dance-drama is performed in the Nepali month Kattik, hence the name Kattik Naach (dance). It is staged at the Kattik Dabali (traditional stage) in Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur.

King Siddhi Narsingh Malla is credited to have started the Kattik Naach during his reign in the medieval period 377 years back. It is believed that the dance-drama was performed wishing for the welfare of the country and its people.

President of the Kattik Naach Conservation Committee, Kiran Chitrakar said the dance which actually was performed for 27 days before has been shortened to 12 days now due to shortage of money.

According to Chitrakar, it costs minimum Rs 500 thousand to arrange for the dance-drama for 12 days. He said it would require Rs 1.5 million if it was to be staged for full 27 days as per the tradition.

Chitrakar added that 120 artistes including those who play the musical instruments for the dance are required for staging this dance for 12 days and this number will go up to as many as 300 persons if the dance was to be performed for full 27 days.

He argues that increment in the number of artistes means the expenses also go up in that ratio, adding that new artistes participating in the dance have to learn it for minimum three to four months. RSS