02 April, 2020

Important Dance Forms in India

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Types of Dance Forms

Dance is a cultural tradition. An ancient time’s dance is the spiritual and religious tradition of India. Dance is an art to express human feelings of joy and happiness.

Dance is only way to communicate using body, eyes, expressions. Mainly Indian dances are categorized into two type’s classical and folk (tribal) dance.

Classical Dance:

The Classical dances of India are usually spiritual in content. The Indian classical dances are eight recognized by sangeet natak akademi. Classical dances are famous in the world.

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1. Bharatha Natyam Dance:

Bharatha Natyam Dance

Bharatanatyam comes from the Tamil Nadu state in south India. Bharata Natyam is considered the oldest form of dance. It is the mother of all other classical dances in India. Bharatanatyam originated from the art of temple dancers in the south India. It can be traced back to 1000bc.

Bharatanatyam originates from the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu performed by women. It is a temple dance for women. Bharatanatyam origin back to the Natya Shastra written by the mythic priest Bharata.

The dance form is known as beautiful body movements and gestures which are called mudras in the traditional language. It focuses on the hand gestures, leg movements and facial expressions of the dancer. It is used to express Hindu religious stories and devotions.

  • Dance Name: Bharatnatyam
  • Region: South India
  • State: Tamil Nadu

2. Kuchipudi Dance:

Kuchipudi Dance

Kuchipudi is a classical dance form that originated from south India Andhra Pradesh state. The name comes from Kuchipudi village near the Bay of Bengal. Kuchipudi is the most popular traditional dance form in South India performed with violin, flute, and tambura instruments.

Kuchipudi is a difficult form of classical dance in India. Kuchipudi requires talent in both dancing and singing requires both the skill and much more dedication than any other art form in India. Kuchipudi was only performed by the male dancers in the temples. Nowadays it is mostly performed by female dancers.

  • Dance Name: Kuchipudi
  • Region: South India
  • State: Andhra Pradesh

3. Mohinittan Dance:

Mohinittan Dance

Mohiniyattam is a classical dance form from south India, Kerala state. It is a popular form of dance with a drama, performed with subtle gestures and footwork.

It is the 2nd popular dance form. This classical Indian dance form roots from Natya Shastra. It is a traditional dance, performed by women.

  • Dance Name: Mohiniyattam
  • Region: Southwestern India
  • State: Kerala

4. Kathakali Dance:

Kathakali Dance

Kathakali comes from southwestern India, Kerala state. kathakali is a religious dance. It draws inspiration from the Ramayana and stories from Shaiva traditions. It is performed by boys and men even for female roles.

Kathakali is one of the most attracting classical Indian dance-drama performed by well-trained artists. The attractive make-up, detailed gestures and elaborate costumes of the characters along with body movements with playback music are the best experience to watch. Kathakali is also related to storytelling.

  • Dance Name: Kathakali
  • Region: Southwestern India
  • State: Kerala

5. Odissi Dance:

Odissi Dance

Odissi comes from eastern India, Orissa state. Odissi is the oldest dance in India. Odissi dance is performed mostly by the women dancers. Odissi is a very complex and expressive dance, with over fifty mudras commonly used. Odissi dance gestures and movements or mudras are inspired by ancient temples of India.

The dance form is known for its style, independent movements of head, chest, and pelvis. Beautiful Odissi Dance is a traditional and ancient style of dance performed in the temples.

  • Dance Name: Kathakali
  • Region: Odissi
  • State: Odisha

6. Kathak Dance:

Kathak Dance

A dance of northern India Uttar Pradesh. Kathak’s name comes from the word Katha, which means a story in Hindi. Kathak is often a dance of love. It can be performed both by the male and female dancers together.

Kathak started as a temple dance but soon moved to rule houses. Kathak is performed in the form of storytelling through the body movements used by the dancer.

  • Dance Name: Kathak
  • Region: North India
  • State: Uttar Pradesh

7. Sattriya Dance:

Sattriya Dance

The Sattriya Dance of Assam is a living tradition of the state. It is one of the eight major classical Indian dance traditions. Sattriya classical dance form is well appreciated and practiced outside the state as well as outside of the Indian mainland.

This dance form was preserved in the Sattras or the Vaishnava Maths. it remained a living tradition. However, today, the practice has changed in many ways. The performances are not limited to the Sattras, even women can perform Sattriya dance on the stage.

  • Dance Name: Sattriya
  • Region: Northeastern India
  • State: Assam

8. Manipuri Dance:

Manipuri Dance

Manipuri comes from Manipur in northeastern India. Manipuri dance is one of the major classical dance in India. The dance roots in that state’s folk traditions, rituals and often depict scenes from the life of the god Krishna. The dance is performed with the music created by the Indian classical instruments.

Manipuri themes are based on the Raslila act of Radha and Krishna and are purely religious along with spiritual experience. It is famously known as Raas Leela. Manipuri is characterized by smooth and graceful movements. This art form is performed in a team with the traditional Manipuri costumes.

  • Dance Name: Manipuri
  • Region: Northeastern India
  • State: Manipur

Important classical dances in India

Table of Contents

S.NoDance NameState
1. Bharatha natyam Tamil nadu
2. Kuchipudi Andhra Pradesh
3. MohinittanKerala
4. Kathakali Kerala
5.Odissi Odisha
6. Kathak Rajasthan,UP
7.Sattriya Assam
8.Manipuri Manipur

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