There are number of folk dances of India and among them eight dance forms were given the classical dance status by the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama in India. They are Bharatanatyam dance of Tamil Nadu, Kuchipudi dance of Andhra Pradesh, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam of Kerala, Kathak of Uttar Pradesh, Yakshagana of Karnataka, Odissi of Orissa, Sattriya of Assam and Manipuri of Manipur region.


As there are diverse cultures and traditions in India each region of India has its own unique dance forms. The folk dances of India are practiced during the festivals and special occasions of that particular community. They are accompanied by the folk music often. The folk dances are the expression of joy and elation and are mostly dedicated to the deities of that region. The dance apparels also vary from region to region. Traditional dance dresses and traditional jewelry are worn during the folk dance. These are the reflection of the cultural heritage of India.


Kathak dance is from the nomadic tribe Kathakaris of Uttar Pradesh and goes with the classical Hindustani music. The stories of Radha and Krishna were acted in the Natwari style and this dance form involves story telling style. There are some fixed steps that are performed in a fixed order. There are three concepts of Bharatnatyam called Bhava, Raga and Thaala. They are taught by Natwanaars and this originated in Thajavur of Tamil Nadu. One has to learn many years to become proficient in Bharatnatyam. Carnatic classical music and mridangam and cymbals are used for dancing. Gorgeous costumes of Kanchipuram silk or Banaras silk are worn along with traditional jewelry.


Kathakali dance is the form of dance in which story is performed in the dance form. The themes of these stories are episodes from Mahabharata and Ramayana. The circular movements and delicate footsteps coupled with subtle expressions are the trademarks of this dance form. The dancer has painted face and Pacha, Kathi, Thadi, Kari and Minukku types of make ups were worn.


In the Kuchipudi dance form, the performers sing and dance at the same time. Usually Telugu lyrics are used as this has its origin in Andhra Pradesh. Nritta, Nritya and Natya are perfectly done through this dance. Both duets and solo performances are commonly seen. Odissi dance is performed by the Devadasis of temples. The Geeta Govinda of Jayadev belonging to the 12th century is the guide to this dance form. Silk sari, Mathami, Kapa and Kankana are worn by the artist.


Manipuri dance is characterized by slow and graceful movements. It was patronized by Rabindranath Tagore. Chhau dance is performed on the day of Sri Panchami to get the divine blessing. This is in fact a war dance and the performers have a sword and shield in their hands. The Hindustani Raaga music is used together with Nagra, Dhol and Shenais. Kabelia dance, Chari dance, Kachhi Gori, Garba dance, Dandiya dance, Bhangra dance, Gidda dance, Tamasha dance, Dindi dance, Bihu dance are other folk dances of India.

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Suhaina Mazhar is a freelance content writer and blogger and has written thousands of original articles. is her blog.

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FOLK DANCES OF INDIA , indian folk dances , folk dance india


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