List of Dance Forms in India – Folk & Classical Dances of All States | UPSC Notes

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Dances in India | Notes UPSC

India has a long history of dance that goes back to ancient times. There is a lot of proof about dance from excavations, inscriptions, chronicles, genealogies of kings and artists, literary sources, sculptures, and paintings from different times. Myths and tales also show that dance was an important part of the Indian people’s religious and social life. But it’s not easy to figure out how the “art” or “classical” dances we know today came to be and how they changed over time.
The first written mentions of dance and music come from the Vedas, where they have their roots. The epics, the different Puranas, and the rich body of dramatic and literary writing in Sanskrit called the nataka and the kavya can all be used to piece together a more coherent history of dance. Classical Sanskrit theatre, which was a mix of spoken word, gestures and mime, choreography, stylized movement, and music, also grew during this time.
From the 12th century to the 19th century, there were many different types of sangeet-nataka, which means “musical play.” It is thought that classical dance styles of today came from these musical shows.

Table of Contents

List of Classical Dances of India

S.NoName of Classical DancePlace of Classical Dance
1BharatanatyamTamil Nadu
2KathakNorthern India
3KathakaliKerala
4KuchipudiAndhra Pradesh
5ManipuriManipur
6MohiniyattamKerala
7OdissiOdisha
8SattriyaAssam
List of Classical Dances of India

Famous Classical Dancer in India

DancerDance
Rukmini Devi Arundale Bharatnatyam 
Pandit Birju Maharaj Kathak 
Uday Shankar Fusion 
Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi 
Guru Bipin Singh Manipuri 
Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam Kuchipudi 
Padma Subrahmanyam Bharatnatyam 
Shovana NarayanKathak

List of Folk Dances in India

State of OriginList of Folk Dances in India
Andhra PradeshVilasini Natyam, Bhamakalpam, Veeranatyam, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Dhimsa, Kolattam.
Arunachal PradeshBuiya, Chalo, Wancho, Pasi Kongki, Ponung, Popir
AssamBihu, Bichhua, Natpuja, Maharas, Kaligopal, Bagurumba, Naga dance, Khel Gopal.
BiharJata-Jatin, Bakho-Bakhain, Panwariya
ChhattisgarhGaur Maria, Panthi, Raut Nacha, Pandwani, Vedamati, Kapalik
GujaratGarba, Dandiya Raas, Tippani Juriun, Bhavai
GoaTarangamel, Koli, Dekhni, Fugdi, Shigmo, Ghode, Modni, Samayi nrutya, Jagar, Ranmale
HaryanaJhumar, Phag, Daph, Dhamal, Loor, Gugga, Khor.
Himachal PradeshJhora, Jhali, Chharhi, Dhaman, Chhapeli, Mahasu
Jammu & KashmirRauf, Hikat, Mandjas, Kud Dandi Nach
JharkhandAlkap, Karma Munda, Agni, Jhumar, Janani Jhumar, Mardana Jhumar, Paika, Phagua
KarnatakaYakshagana, Huttari, Suggi, Kunitha, Karga
KeralaOttam Thullal, Kaikottikali
MaharashtraLavani, Nakata, Koli, Lezim, Gafa, Dahikala Dasavtar
Madhya PradeshJawara, Matki, Aada, Khada Nach, Phulpati, Grida Dance, Selalarki, Selabhadoni
ManipurDol Cholam, Thang Ta, Lai Haraoba, Pung Cholom
MeghalayaKa Shad Suk Mynsiem, Nongkrem, Laho
MizoramCheraw Dance, Khuallam, Chailam, Sawlakin, Chawnglaizawn, Zangtalam
NagalandRangma, Zeliang, Nsuirolians, Gethinglim
OdishaSavari, Ghumara, Painka, Munari
PunjabBhangra, Giddha, Daff, Dhaman, Bhand
RajasthanGhumar, Chakri, Ganagor, Jhulan Leela, Jhuma, Suisini, Ghapal
SikkimChu Faat, Sikmari, Singhi Chaam or the Snow Lion, Yak Chaam, Denzong Gnenha, Tashi Yangku
Tamil NaduKumi, Kolattam, Kavadi
TripuraHojagiri
Uttar PradeshNautanki, Raslila, Kajri, Jhora, Chappeli
UttarakhandGarhwali, Kumayuni, Kajari, Jhora, Raslila

Folk Dances Of Andhra Pradesh

Folk Dances Of Andhra Pradesh
BhamakalapamAndhra NatyamDappu
Vilasini NatyamVeera NatyamDhimsa
GobbiChiratala BhajanaKolattam
Tappeta GundluLambadiButta Bommalata
UrumuluChhadiGhanta Mardala
Ottam Thedal

Folk Dances Of Arunachal Pradesh

Folk Dances Of Arunachal Pradesh
PonungBuiyaIdu mishmi
SadinuktsoKhamptiWancho
Pasi KongkiBuiyaChalo
Bardo ChhamPopirKa Fifai

Folk Dances Of Assam

Folk Dances Of Assam
BihuGoaliniJhumura Hobjanai
BagurumbaBhortal NrityaDeodhani
ZikirsBichhuaCanoe
KaaligopalNat PujaTabal Chongli

Folk Dances Of Bihar

Folk Dances Of Bihar
PanwariyaSama ChakwaBidesiya
Jat-JatinBakho-BakhainDomkach
FaguaJatraPaika

Folk Dances Of Chattisgarh

Folk Dances Of Chattisgarh
PanthiGaur MaariaGoudi
Raut NachaKarmaMundari
DaglaPaliJhumar
NavraniTapaliSaila

Folk Dances Of Goa

Folk Dances Of Goa
DulpodKunnbi-GeetFugdi
MussollDhaloAmon
ShigmoTarangamelGoff
Musal KhelDhangarDashavatara
Divlyan NachMoruloTonayamel
Dekhni

Folk Dances Of Gujarat

Folk Dances Of Gujarat
GarbaTippani JuriunDandiya Raas
BhavaiPadhar dance

Folk Dances Of Haryana

Folk Dances Of Haryana
KhoriaRaas LeelaSaang
JhumarChhathiDhamal
GuggaGagorLoor
KhoriaTeej dancePhag
Daph

Folk Dances Of Himachal Pradesh

Folk Dances Of Himachal Pradesh
JhaliChharhiKinnauri
NatiMangenJhainta
MahasuDangiJhora
DhamanRakshasaChhapeli
ChambaThaliStick dance

Folk Dances Of Jharkhand

Folk Dances Of Jharkhand
SohraiMundaDanga
Jat-JatinChhouBidesia
KarmaSarahulSanthal
HuntaPaika

Folk Dances Of Karnataka

Folk Dances Of Karnataka
BayalattaVeeragaseDollu Kunitha
HuttarLambiSuggi Kunitha
KargaYakshaganaBhootha Aradhane

Folk Dances Of Kerala

Folk Dances Of Kerala
KoodiyattamTheyyamThirayattam
OppanaKaikottikaliThiruvathirakali
Chakyar KoothuThidambu NrithamChavittu Nadakam
PadayaniOttamthullal

Folk Dances Of Madhya Pradesh

Folk Dances Of Madhya Pradesh
JawaraGrida danceMaanch
TertaliCharkulaPhulpati dance
Matki danceSelalarkiSelabhadoni

Folk Dances Of Maharashtra

Folk Dances Of Maharashtra
GafaKoliNaakata
LavaniTamashaPowada
GourichaMauniDahikala Dashavatar
LezimDhangari Gaja

Folk Dances Of Manipur

Folk Dances Of Manipur
Thang TaNat RashMaha Raash
RakhalDhol CholomLai Haraoba

Folk Dances Of Meghalaya

Folk Dances Of Meghalaya
BaalaNongkremLaho
Ka Shad Suk MynsiemLahooBehdienkhlam

Folk Dances Of Mizoram

Folk Dances Of Mizoram
CherawCherokanKhuallam
ZangtalamPakhupilaKhanatm
ChailamSarlamkai

Folk Dances Of Nagaland

Folk Dances Of Nagaland
NuralimChangsangChang Lo
KhaivaBamboo DanceRangma
ZeliangMonyu AshoMelo Phita
Akok-khiKhupieliliRukhyo-sharu

Folk Dances Of Odisha

Folk Dances Of Odisha
Ruk Mar NachaDalkhai danceGhumura
PaikaBagha NachaGoti Pua
MunariDanda NataMedha Nacha

Folk Dances Of Punjab

Folk Dances Of Punjab
BhangraDhamanGiddha
DaffJhoomerKikkli
DandassJinduaMalwai Giddha

Folk Dances Of Rajasthan

Folk Dances Of Rajasthan
GhoomarJhulan LeelaChari
GhapalSuisiniGanagor
JhumaBhavaiGanagor
PanihariKalbeliya

Folk Dances Of Sikkim

Folk Dances Of Sikkim
Singhi ChaamSikmariTashi Yangku
Chu FaatYak Chaam

Folk Dances Of Tamil Nadu

Folk Dances Of Tamil Nadu
KummiKavadiyattamDevarattam
KolattamKarakattamMayil attam
OyilattamPuliyattamPoikkal Kuthirai Attam
Paampu attamBommalattamTheru Koothu

Folk Dances Of Telangana

Folk Dances Of Telangana
Perini ShivatandavamLambadiDappu Dance
GussadiOggu KathaTholu Bommalata

Folk Dances Of Tripura

Folk Dances Of Tripura
HozagiriJhumMaimita
Masak SumaniLebang boomaniBijhu dance
Hai-Hak danceWangala dancePadisha
GajanGariaCheraw

Folk Dances Of Uttar Pradesh

Folk Dances Of Uttar Pradesh
Raas LeelaJaitaJhora
ChappeliCharkulaKajra
NautankiKhyalDadra

Folk Dances Of Uttarakhand

Folk Dances Of Uttarakhand
GarhwaliJhoraLangvir Nritya
KajariBarada NatiRamola
BhotiyaChhapeliPandav Nritya
Choliya

Folk Dances Of Union Territory Of Jammu & Kashmir

Folk Dances Of Union Territory Of Jammu & Kashmir
RoufKud Dandi NaachHikat
DamaliMandjasDumhal
KudDogriBacha Nagma

Folk Dances Of West Bengal

Folk Dances Of West Bengal
JatraKathiDomni
DhaliAlkapSanthali
MarasiaGambhiraKalikapatadi
Purulia ChhauBritaTusa
  • Archaeologists have found a copper statuette from Mohenjodaro and a broken torso from Harappa. Both are from between 2500 and 1500 BC and look like they are dancing. The second one has been found to be the ancestor of the Nataraja pose, which is often associated with Siva dancing.
  • Bharat Muni’s Natyashastra, the main book of the arts of drama, dance, and music, is the oldest dance book we have. Most people agree that the work was made between the 2nd century BCE and the 2nd century C.E. The fifth veda is another name for the Natyashastra. The author says that he made this veda by taking words from the Rigveda, music from the Samaveda, actions from the Yajurveda, and feelings from the Atharvaveda.

Aspects & Elements of Various Dances

Elements of Various Dances
  • Natya Shastra says that Tandava and Lasya are the two most important parts of Indian traditional dance.
  • Tandava: The male is brave, bold, and full of energy.
  • Lasya: The female is soft, poetic, and elegant.
    Abhinaya means “expression” in a broad sense. This is done through angika, which is the body and limbs, vachika, which is song and speech, aharya, which is clothing and accessories, and satvika, which is feelings and moods. Ancient treatises say that dance is made up of three main parts: natya, nritya, and nritta.
  • Natya emphasises the dramatic side of dance, while most dance styles today don’t do this, except for dance-drama styles like Kathakali.
  • Nritya is mostly a form of speech. It is done to show what a theme or idea means.
  • Nritta, on the other hand, is pure dance in which the movements of the body do not show any mood (bhava) or give any meaning.
    A dancer should learn how to use the navarasas so that nritya and natya can be shown well. These are: love (shringaara), laughter (haasya), kindness (karuna), bravery (veera), anger (roudra), fear (bhayanak), disgust (bibhatsa), wonder (adbhuta), and peace (shaanta).

Forms of Indian classical dance

Forms of Indian classical dance

The Sangeet Natak Akademi of India has recognised eight Indian dance styles as traditional dances. They are:

  1. Bharatnatyam
  2. Kathakali
  3. Odissi
  4. Manipuri
  5. Kuchipudi
  6. Mohiniyattam
  7. Kathak
  8. Sattriya

Bharatnatyam

Bharatnatyam dance upsc

Bharatnatyam is the oldest of the modern traditional dances. It comes from Tamil Nadu and is thought to be over 2000 years old. It comes from old Indian stories.

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Several books, like Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra (written between 200 BCE and 200 CE), talk about this type of dance.

Nandikesvara’s Abhinaya Darpana is one of the most important written tools for studying the technique and grammar of body movement in Bharatnatyam dance.

According to Hindu tradition, the name of the dance form comes from the combination of two words: “Bharata” and “Natyam.” “Natyam” means “dance” in Sanskrit, and “Bharata” is a mnemonic made up of the letters “bha,” “ra,” and “ta,” which stand for “bhava,” which means feelings, “raga,” which means “melody,” and “tala,” which means “rhythm.” So, historically, the word refers to a dance style that shows bhava, raga, and tala.
Where Bharatnatyam came from

The Devadasis, who were servants of God, took care of this dance style in the temple.

It was taken to the courts of princes, and it was thought that the Chola and Pallava kings were the biggest fans of this art.

Bharatanatyam’s origin

Bharatnatyam is a solo dance style that was originally done by women but is now also done by men and groups. It is soft and sexual.

Love is the main theme, and female dancers usually act as a form of devotion to the Supreme Being or as a mother’s love for her child.

This dance is called a “fire dance” because it seems to show the abstract element of fire in the body in a strange way.

Development of Bharatnatyam

The dance style went through a number of tests to get to where it is now. In the 19th century, four brothers called the Tanjore Quartet put the dance style into a set of rules and made a record of it. Chinnayya, Ponniah, Sivanandam, and Vadivelu of the Tanjore Court during the reign of King Saraboji between 1798 and 1824 brought Bharatnatyam and its many forms, such as the Alarippu, Jathiswaram, Sabdham, Varnam, and Tillana.

The dance style was passed down from one generation to the next, and the straight descendants of these four brothers were the first Nattuvanars (Guru), or Bharatnatyam dance teachers, in Tanjore.

Role of Music in Bharatnatyam

An important part of Bharatnatyam is the music. Mridanga, Manjira, Veena, Violin, Kanjira, Surpeti, Venu, and Tanpura are some of the instruments that are used.

Both male and female dancers wear a silk dhoti with a lot of embroidery on it. The Dhoti has a folded or frilled piece of fabric hanging from the waist to the knees.

Bharatnatyam is known for its grace, purity, kindness, and sculptural poses.

Elements of Bharatnatyam

Bharatnatyam has a large number of dances in its repertoire, but each show follows a pattern set by the Tanjore Quartet. In this order, these things are:
Alarippu: It’s a song to call people together. It means “to dress with flowers” in English. It is an abstract piece that combines pure dance with the reciting of sound syllables.
Jatiswaram is a short piece of pure dance that is done to the sounds of any raga of Carnatic music. There are no words or sahitya in Jatiswaram. Instead, it is made up of dance routines called adavus.
Shabdam: It is the emotional part of the song, which is the abhinaya.
Varnam: It has both nritta and nritya and shows what this traditional dance style is all about. Here, the dancer shows how well he or she can control rhythm by doing complicated rhythmic patterns at two different speeds.
After the hard varnam, the dancer does a number of abhinaya pieces that show different emotions. The same parts are:
o (i) keertanam (text is important)
o (ii) Kritis (music is the main focus)
o (iii) padams and javalis (usually have a divine love theme)
Tillana: The tillana is the last part of a Bharatnatyam show. It comes from the tarana in Hindustani music.
The show ends with a mangalam that asks the Gods for their gifts.

Exponents of Bharatnatyam

This dance style was brought back to life by E Krishna Iyer, a famous freedom fighter.

Rukmini Devi Arundale was well-known for her dancing and her love of animals. She is the one who made the dance known all over the world.

Others include – Yamini Krishnamurthy, Padma Subramaniam, Mrinalini Sarabhai, Mallika Sarabhai etc.

Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi dance upsc

Kuchipudi, which was first called Kuchelapuri or Kuchelapuram, is an ancient dance from the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It grew out of the Bhakti (devotion) movement, which began in the 7th century CE.

Its name comes from a village called Kuchelapuram. It is known for how gracefully it moves and how strong its story or drama is.

Both in terms of where it comes from and how it looks, Kuchipudi dance fits best between the traditional dance styles of Odissi and Bharatnatyam.

Kuchipudi’s Style and Method

Kuchipudi is a dance-drama made up of three parts: Nritta, Nritya, and Natya. The teermanams and jatis make up the Nritta, while the

Nritya of Sabdams and Natya of playing out the songs with mudras.
Kuchipudi has strong ties to the dance-drama practise, even though it is becoming more and more of a solo show. It is a mix of talking, acting, and pure dance.

Music in Kuchipudi

Classical Carnatic is the style of music used in Kuchipudi. The musical instruments used to support Kuchipudi dance are Mridangam, Manjira (Thalam), Veena, Violin, Kanjira, Surpeti, Venu and Tanpura.

Features & Elements of Kuchipudi

Since the end of the fourth decade of this century, most people have agreed on how the solo performance should be presented.

A Kuchipudi performance usually starts with the Ganesha Vandana, which is a prayer to the god Ganesha.

It is followed by nritta, which is dancing that doesn’t tell a story. Most of the time, jatiswaram is the nritta number.

The next song is called “Shabdam,” and it tells a story. The Dashaavataara is a popular traditional shabdam song. Another famous solo element is Manduk Shabdam, which is about a frog.

The natya number that comes after the Shabdam is called Kalaapam.

Tarangam is usually the last part of a Kuchipudi performance. In this, the dancer generally stands on a brass plate, locks his or her feet in shakatavadanam paada, and rhythmically moves the plate.

Both lasya and tandava are important parts of this type of dance.

In Jala Chitra Nitryam, the dancer draws pictures with his or her toes on the floor while moving.

Famous Exponents

Radha Reddy and Raja Reddy, Yamini Krishnamurthy, Indrani Rehman, Vedaantam Satyanarayana Sharma

Kathakali

Kathakali Dance upsc

Kathakali, a dance drama belongs to old Kerala. This type of dance from the past is still done in the state. Kathakali is a mix of dance, acting, music, art, and writing. The word “Katha” means “story,” while “Kali” means “dance.”

It shows how the Aryan and Dravidian cultures came together to make its method. Kathakali’s most noticeable feature is its dramatic quality, which is inspiring and comes from a world of myths and legends.

Origin of Kathakal

Kathakali has been around for at least 1500 years, but its roots go back even further.

It grew out of dances like Chakiayarkoothu, Koodiyattom, Mudiyettu, Theyyattu, Sastrakali, Krishnanattm, and Ramanattm, which were popular in Kerala.

Elements of Kathakali

The kelikottu is the first part of a Kathakali show. It is a religious number in which one or two figures ask the gods to bless them.

Kelikottu is the formal announcement of the evening show, when drums and cymbals are played for a while in the courtyard.

The todayam comes after the kelikottu.

This is followed by a pure nritta piece called the purappadu.

After that, the singers and drummers take the stage and show the crowd how good they are at melappada.

Kalasams are dance-only scenes where the actor has a lot of freedom to show off his skills and express himself.

Features of Kathakali Dance

Most Kathakali performances show in a big way how good and evil have always been at odds with each other. Kathakali is based on the old puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana, which are full of ideas that can’t be used up.

Kathakali dance is mostly about telling stories. In general, the roles in a Kathakali show are either satvika, rajasika, or tamasika.

One of the most interesting things about Kathakali is how the eyes and eyebrows are used to show the rasas.

Kathakali recitals don’t use a lot of props. But different figures have elaborate makeup on their faces and wear hats.

Different colours are used to make up the face, and each colour means something different.
Green is a sign of royalty, godliness, and goodness.
Red stands for royalty.
Black means evil and wrongdoing.

When it comes to music, a Kathakali script called Kathakali Padam was written by several writers. Each Padam is a song that is said to one of the ragas of Carnatic music. In the Carnatic style, stories for dance and poems based on legends are put on stage.

Men usually perform in Kathakali. Men who dress like women play the parts of women. A Kathakali actor needs to have a lot of focus, skill, and physical stamina. This comes from training in Kerala’s old martial art, Kalaripayattu, which is based on Kalari Payette.

Most Kathakali shows take place in open-air stages or temple grounds. The show usually starts in the evening and goes all night. It ends at dawn, which is considered a good time.
In the end, good wins over evil.

Kathakali is a sign of the sky or air as an element.

Famous Exponents

Guru Kunchu Kurup, Kavungal Chathunni Panicker, Gopi Nath, Rita Ganguly etc.

Mohiniattam

Mohiniattam dance upsc

Mohiniyattam, which roughly means “the dance of Mohini,” is the classical solo dance of Kerala. Mohini is an enchantress from Hindu mythology who lives in the heavens.

Even though Mohiniattam started out as a mix of Kathakali and Bharatnatyam, it now has its own style.

The word “Mohiniattam” comes from the words “Mohini,” which means a beautiful young woman, and “attam,” which means “dance.”

The Mohiniattam dances use graceful steps, rhythmic arm movements, and facial emotions to tell stories from the epics and legends.

The delicate body movements and subtle face expressions are more feminine (dominated by lasya) and are best performed by women because of this.

Mohiniattam’s Type and Theme

Mohiniattam is also called the “Dance of the Celestial Female Magicians.” It tells the story of how Vishnu danced like a woman.

It is mostly a solo dance that is done by women. But the way this dance is put together also shows how Lord Vishnu changed into a woman and how Ardhnareeshwara is both male and female at the same time.

Love and loyalty to god are the main ideas of Mohiniattam. Mohiniattam means the dance of enchanters, which destroys the bad people and makes the good people happy.

Salient Features

Mohiniyattam is known for its smooth, swaying body movements. There are no quick jumps or jerks. It is in the style of lasya, which is feminine, soft, and flowing.

The glides and up-and-down movements on the toes emphasise the movements. They look like the waves of the sea and the moving of coconut trees, palm trees, and paddy fields.

The footwork isn’t quick and is done in a soft way. Hand movements and Mukhabhinaya with small face expressions are given a lot of attention.

Most of the 24 hand movements come from Hastalakshana Deepika, a book that Kathakali is based on. Some of them also come from the NatyaShastra, the AbhinayaDarpana, and the Balarambharatam.

This type of art shows the element Air.

Carnatic Music is the type of singing music used in Mohiniattam. The music also emphasises these moves because it is very lyrical and sensual, and it focuses more on bhava than on trying to say what the swara patterns are. Sopanam is the name for this way of singing.

Mohiniattam has a usual costume that is a mix of white and gold.

Famous Proponents

Kalyaniamma was the first Mohiniattam dancer to get a lot of attention. She taught at Shantiniketan as well.

Other well-known supporters include Krishna Paniker, Madhavi Amma, and others.

Odissi

Odissi Dance upsc

In the caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, near Bhubaneshwar, there are relics of this type of dance from the 2nd century BCE.

For hundreds of years, Maharis were the ones who knew the most about this dance. When the maharis, who used to dance in temples, started working in royal halls, the art form started to fall apart. Around this time, a group of boys called “gotipuas” were taught how to dance. They danced in churches and for ceremonies.
general fun.

Odissi dancers follow the Natya Shastra rules to the letter. People use their faces, hands, and bodies to show a certain feeling, mood, or one of the nine rasas.

Elements of Odissi

In the first dance, “Mangalacharan,” a dancer slowly walks onto the stage with flowers in her hands as a gift to “mother earth.”

Batu: This is where the basic ideas of the Odissi nritta method are shown. The basic stances of the chauk and tribhanga show the duality of the masculine and feminine.

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Pallavi: The music and moves bloom and are decorated in Pallavi. The dancer shows how a piece of music in a certain raga looks with slow, subtle movements that build up into complicated patterns that show how the rhythm changes within the tala structure.

Tharijham: It is pure nritta, like Bharatanatyam’s Thillana or Kathak’s Tarana.

There are two ways to end the dance. Moksha is a dance of freedom with happy moves. The Trikhanda Majura is another way to end a piece. It shows that the gods, the audience, and the stage are all leaving.

Salient Features of Odissi Dance

The main idea of Odissi comes from Geeta Govinda. Lord Krishna is one of the main ideas in Odissi. A very popular theme is the Ashtapadi of Jayadeva. Odissi is all about dedication and spirituality.

The steps of Odissi dancing are based on the basic rules of the Natyashastra and the Silpasastra. It has foot moves that are similar to Bharatanatyam. The heart of Odissi dance lies in its sculpturesque quality. Its beautiful poses remind me of the statues that used to be in the famous churches that used to be the source of this art.

The two basic positions, Chowk and Tribhanga, are the foundation of the movement methods. The chowk is a pose that looks like a square. It is a very manly pose in which the weight of the body is evenly distributed. The tribhanga is a very feminine stance in which the neck, hips, and knees are turned outward.

Odissi is a great mix of Lasya and Tandava, which are both parts of Indian classical dance. The dancer moves from one to the other very well, depending on what the expressional number, rhythmic words, and abhinaya need.

Hand motions are important in both nritta and nritya. In nritta, they are only used for decoration, but in nritya, they are used to talk.

The music is a mix of classical Hindustani (most of it) and Carnatic styles.

The outfit for Odissi dance is made of Odisha handloom silk sarees and is stitched in a pyjama style. It is draped in a comfortable way. Odissi dance uses silver jewellery.

This form of art represents water.

Famous Proponents

Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra, Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Madhavi Mudgal, Rekha Tandon, Sreyashi Dey and many more.

Manipuri

Manipuri dance UPSC

The Manipuri dance style has its roots in the story that Shiva and Parvati danced with the local “Gandharvas” in the valleys of Manipur.

The dance became well-known when Vaishnavism came into being. As Vaishnavism spread in the 15th century CE, new works based on parts of Radha and Krishna’s lives were slowly added.

What’s Important About Manipuri Dance

Manipuri dance uses both the tandava and the lasya. It goes from the most aggressive and male to the most gentle and feminine.

Manipuri dance is known for its grace, divinity, and seamless beauty. The dance is based on Indian religious themes and the devotional parts of Indian thought and religion.

The music in Manipuri dance is limited by the way the dance is done. Short pieces of music like the swarmala, chaturang, and keertiprabhand are an important part of the dancer’s routine.

In the Manipuri dance style, Nagabhanda mudra is an important posture in which the body is connected by curves in the shape of a “8.”

The cult of Radha and Krishna, especially the raslila, is at the centre of its themes. However, the dances use the sankirtan symbols (kartal or manjira) and double-headed drum (pung or Manipuri mridang) in an odd way.

The Ras, the Sankirtana, and the Thang-Ta are the three most well-known types of Manipuri dance.
In Manipuri Ras, Radha, Krishna, and the gopis are the most important people. The themes often show how hard it is for the gopis and Radha to be apart from Krishna.
In Manipur, the dance called Sankirtana is accompanied by Kirtan, a style of group music. While dancing, the men play the Pung and the Kartal.
Part of the Sankirtana culture is the Choloms, which are a type of dance that are more masculine. The Pung or Manipuri traditional drum is the main piece of music.

Manipuri dance outfits are bright and full of colour, and they have beautiful jewellery. “Patloi” is the name of the standard dance outfit for women.

Manipuri Proponents

Nayana, Suverna, Darshana, and Ranjana Jhaveri, who are sisters, are well-known Manipuri dancers.

Sohini Ray, Poushali Chatterjee, and others are also well-known singers.

Kathak

Kathak dance UPSC

Uttar Pradesh is where Kathak dance comes from. It is a mix of music, dance, and telling a story.

“Kathak” comes from the Sanskrit word “katha,” which means “story.” This dance style comes from the Kathakars, or entertainers, who lived as nomads in northern India in the past.

The Kathak dance of today is mostly based on Ras Lila, a local dance from the Middle Ages in the Braj area of Uttar Pradesh. It had music, dance, and the story all in one.

Eventually, the famous Kathak dance became very stylized in both Hindu and Muslim courts, and it was seen as a sophisticated way to have fun.

There are four main schools of Kathak, called gharanas, from which most Kathak dancers today come:
 Lucknow Gharana:
It started in the court of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, who was the master of Awadh at the beginning of the 19th century.
It is a type of dance that has graceful moves, elegance, and a natural sense of poise. This style is characterised by artistically planned dance compositions, emotional vocal compositions like thumris, dadras, and horis, and creative improvisations.
Pandit Briju Maharaj is thought to be the best person to represent this gharana.
 Jaipur Gharana:
o The Jaipur Gharana emerged in the courts of the Kachchwaha kings of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
o The more technical parts of dance, like difficult and powerful footwork, multiple spins, and complicated compositions in different talas, are given a lot of attention.
o There are also more pieces from the pakhawaj, like parans, that are being used.
 Banaras Gharana:
Janakiprasad was the one who made the Benares Gharana.
It only uses the natwari, or dance bols, which are different from the bols used by the tabla and the pakhawaj.
o The thaat and tatkaar are different, and chakkars are kept to a minimum. However, they are often taken from both the right and left sides with the same amount of trust.
o There is also more use of the floor, like when sam is being taken.
 Raigarh Gharana:
It grew and changed with the help of Raja Chakradhar Singh.
It puts a focus on music with drums.

History and How It Came About

The bhakti movement, which grew out of the Vaishnavite cult that spread through North India in the 15th century, led to a whole new set of lyrics and singing styles. Along with the works of Mirabai, Surdas, Nandadas, and Krishnadas, the Radha-Krishna theme was a huge hit.

When the Mughals came to power, this dance style got a new boost. As the scene moved from the temple garden to the palace durbar, the way it was shown had to change.

Kathak’s Elements

Ananda: the piece that the dancer does before taking the stage.

Thaat: The neck, eyebrows, and wrists move gently back and forth.

Todas and Tukdas are short bits of fast-paced rhyme

Padhant: In this dance, the dancer says and shows complicated bols.

Tarana: It is pure nritta, like Bharatanatyam’s Thillana.

Kramalaya is the last part and is made up of pure rhythmic moves.

What Makes Kathak Dance Stand Out?

The Kathak dance style is characterised by a complicated way of moving the feet. Both the horizontal and vertical axes of the body carry the same amount of weight. There are no sharp bends or curves in the upper or lower body, and there are no turns.

There is a lot of room for improvisation in both nritta (pure dance) and abhinaya (mime) to show changes on a theme. The greatness of the dancer lies in his ability to improvise on both the melodic and metric line and the lyrical line.

Jugalbandhi is the most interesting part of a kathak performance. It shows how the dancer and table player play against each other.

The rise and development of north Indian music, especially the khayal, could not happen without the dance. The dance was played to by both the dhrupad and the khayal.

The women who dance Kathak wear a Ghaghara, choli, and veil. Men wear either a Dhoti-Kurta or a Kameez-Churidar-Vest. People wear gold and silver jewellery on their heads, necks, arms, hands, fingers, waists, and feet. Ankle bells are also a very important piece of jewellery.

Kathak Proponents

Birju Maharaj, Lacchu Maharaj, Sitara Devi, Damayanti Joshi etc.

Sattriya

Sattriya dance upsc

The great Vaishnava saint and leader of Assam, Mahapurusha Sankaradeva, brought Sattriya dance to the area in the 15th century AD as a powerful way to spread the Vaishnava faith.

Sankardeva made Sattriya Nritya to go along with the Assamese one-act plays he called Ankiya Naat. These plays were usually put on in the temples of Assam, which are called sattras.

What’s Important About Sattriya Dance

The dance takes parts from different treatises and popular folk dances in Assam, especially Ojapali and Devadasi.

Traditionally, this dance style was only done by male monks (also called Bhokots) in monasteries as part of their daily routines or to celebrate important holidays. Sattriya is played on stage by women and men who are not members of sattras, and the themes are not always about myths.

Sattriya Nritya is split into many genres: Apsara Nritya, Behar Nritya, Chali Nritya, Dasavatara Nritya, Manchok Nritya, Natua Nritya, Rasa Nritya, Rajaghariya Chali Nritya, Gosai Prabesh, Bar Prabesh, Gopi Prabesh, Jhumura, Nadu Bhangi, and Sutradhara,among others.

Sattriya Nritya is danced to borgeets, which are usually based on ancient ragas and have been written by Sankardeva and others.

The Sattriya dance style is based on strict rules about hastamudras, footwork, aharyas, music, and other things.

The dance practise has split into the Gayan-Bhayanar Nach and the Kharmanar Nach, which are very different from each other.

The dress is typical of Assam because the silk used to make it is made in Assam and sewn into intricate patterns.

Sattriya Proponents

Maniram Datta Moktar, Bapuram Bayan Attai, Ghana Kanta Bora, Jatin Goswami, Indira PP Bora etc.
The Ministry of Culture has recognised nine classical dance styles, including Chhau, while the Sangeet Natak Akademi has only recognised eight.

Chhau Dance

Chhau dance upsc

The word “Chhau” comes from the Sanskrit word “Chhaya,” which means “shadow,” “image,” or “mask.”

The Chhau dance is a martial, tribal, and folk dance from eastern India that isn’t quite formal. It is a type of dance with masks.

The dance runs from a folk dance that celebrates martial arts, acrobatics, and athletics to a structured dance with religious themes from Shaivism, Shaktism, and Vaishnavism.

There are three ways to do it, each named after the place where it is done: Mayurbhanj Chau in Odisha, Purulia Chau in Bengal, and Seraikella Chau in Jharkhand.

Dances with natural themes, like the Sarpa Nritya or the Mayur Nritya, are also done.

Masks are an important part of the Purulia and Seraikella types of Chhau dance.

The Bollywood movie Barfi! has a lot of scenes with the Purulia Chhau in them.

In 2010, the Chhau dance was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list by UNESCO.

Indian folk dances

Folk and native dances in India can be simple, happy celebrations of the harvest or the birth of a child, or they can be ritualistic dances meant to get rid of demons and call on spirits. There are dances where people juggle with knives or do tricks with pitchers of water.

Other dances show things like farming, fishing, and grinding.

The clothes are usually very flashy, and both men and women wear a lot of jewellery.

Some dances are only done by men or women, but most of the time men and women move together. Almost all of them have the dancers singing.

The drum is the most popular traditional instrument used to play music for these dances.

Folk Dances of Uttar Pradesh

Folk dances of Uttar Pradesh show that the state has a lot of history and culture. The traditional spirit is shown in dance plays that are based on the stories of gods like Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. Raslila, Ramlila, Khayal, Nautanki, Naqaal, Swang, Dadra, and the Charkula Dance are some of the most important folk dances in Uttar Pradesh.

Raslila

This state’s Raslila is called the Braj Raslila because it started in the Braj area of Uttar Pradesh.

The story is about Lord Krishna’s charming childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. It shows how Lord Krishna and his wife Radha got together.

Ramlila

Ramlila is a native art form in the folk culture of Uttar Pradesh that is well known.

The Ramayana is mostly about the life of Lord Rama, who is also another form of Lord Vishnu.

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This dance style tells the story of how Lord Rama was sent away from Ayodhya, how he beat Ravana, and how he met Sita.

Khyal

Khyal is a form of folk art that is popular in many parts of India. It began as a dance style in Uttar Pradesh.

Khyal shows start with an invocation, which includes hymns to the respected deities and music played on the nakkara or dholak drum, cymbals, and harmonium.

Nautanki

Nautanki is a type of street play or skit that is famous in the northern part of India, especially in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Nautanki shows are operas with a popular folk theme that comes from love stories, myths, or the lives of local heroes.

Naqaal

Naqaal is a form of folk art that is done in all the towns of the north Indian states of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

All of the Naqaals plays have a character who tells stories. Most of the ideas in these plays are about a common man.

Swang (Saang)

Swangisa is a famous Indian folk dance drama that is done in Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh.

Swang’s show was full of songs, and it is thought to be a rich literary performance. This dance drama is more about the conversation than the dancing.

It’s about different myths and society issues. This folk theatre is put on by amateurs or new artists, and it can be seen in the open air or on a stage made just for it.

Dadra

This dance style is popular in Uttar Pradesh. It has a unique style.

The play back singers used to help the dancers on stage.

Charkula Dance

This is one of the most popular dance shows in the Braj area of Uttar Pradesh. It is the most spectacular dance show.

It’s an interesting dance show with a lot of drama. This type of dance shows how Radha was born.

Rajasthan Folk Dances

Dance Ghoomar

The Ghoomar dance is a very well-known Rajasthani folk dance. It is done by women at fairs and festivals and other happy events.

The dance is mostly done by women who cover their faces and wear long, flowy clothes called ghaghara.

Most of the time, dancers do pirouettes as they move in and out of a wide circle.

The word ghoomna means “twirling” and is the root of the word ghoomar, which means “to dance.”

Women from the Bhil group also do this dance.

Gowari Dance

The “Gowari” dance play is the most well-known art form of the Bhil tribe.

For a month, the nine performers move from village to village as a group. During that time, they have a tight schedule to follow.

Terahtali Dance

This interesting dance style is done by women and is thought of as a form of worship.

Manjeeras are tied to the actors’ wrists, elbows, waists, and arms. The women dance with quick, precise moves to the strong beats of the “Manjeeras,” while the men sing and play on the “Tandoora.”

Drum Dance

It is a professional dance style from the Jalore area of Rajasthan. Only men can perform it.

In this dance, five men beat big drums that are tied around their necks. They are joined by a dancer who holds big cymbals in their hands.

Fire Dance

The ‘jasnathis’ of Bikaner and Churu areas perform the exciting fire dance.

This dance shows how Jasnathis lives her life. Only at night can you see these acts of worship.

Dance Chari

It is a type of dance that the people do, and it shows how happy they are when they go looking for water and find it.

The women have to walk a long way just to get water for their daily needs. The Chari dance shows how happy they are as they go.

Dance the Kathputli

It looks like dolls are dancing.

The real stories about great herons have been passed from village to village through puppet shows.

Kalbeliya Dance

The Kalbeliyas are a group of snake charmers from Rajasthan that do the Kalbeliya dance.

They depend a lot on this dance show to make a living.

In 2010, the UNESCO put Kalbelia folk songs and dances on the list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

Gair Dance

The Gair Dance is a traditional dance of the Bhil people of Rajasthan. It is done at the Holi holiday.

The way men and women dance this dance is different in a number of ways.

Bhawai dance

This form is very hard to do, and only skilled artists can do it. Women dancers do this dance by holding 8 to 9 pitchers on their heads while dancing at the same time.

Panihari Dance

Women who go far to get water are called Panihari because water is scarce in the dry deserts of Rajasthan.

The stressed women wrote beautiful songs that were often about water and rain. Soon, Panihari songs were well-known and often heard.

Over time, Panihari became a part of the state’s rich folk dance and song culture.

Kashmiri folk dances

The Bhand Jashna, the Dumhal, and the Kud Dance are all well-known folk dances from Kashmir.

The Bhand Jashna

Bhand Jashna is a famous “festival of clowns” in Kashmir. It is also a form of Kashmiri folk play that dates back 300 to 400 years.

It is a classic form of folk theatre that combines dance and play in a satirical way.

Most of the time, it makes fun of social situations and shows strong feelings through dance, music, and clowning.

Dance Dumhal

It takes place at certain times and places. Usually, only the men of Wattal do this dance. They wear long, colourful dresses and tall, cone-shaped caps that are usually decorated with beads and shells.

The artists do more than just dance. They also sing songs together in a chorus while different drums play music.

Kud Dance

It is a common community dance that is done in the middle mountain ranges of the Jammu region. The Kud dance is done when it’s raining, and its moves are swaying and winding.

It’s mostly a dance ritual done to honour the Lok Devatas. Men, women, and children dress up in their best clothes and meet around a bonfire for the whole night.

Punjabi Folk Dances

Bhangra Dance

Bhangra is one of the most well-known dances in India. Only guys in Punjab dance it on Baisakhi.

In Bhangra, the drummer usually stands in the middle of a circle of dancers in a large open space. Giddha is the female version of Bhangra.

Dance the Jhummar

The Jhummar dance is a dance of ecstasy that shows how happy men are, so only guys do it.

Jhummar is usually played at melas, weddings, and other big events and parties.

Luddi Dance

The Luddi Dance is also a traditional Punjabi dance done by men to celebrate a win or success in any field. This is mostly a slow-moving dance, and some people even recognise it by putting it together with the Bhangra.

Dance the Dhumall

It is a dance for guys, and it is also danced in a circle. The drum is used to play music for the dance.

Dhankara Dance

The Dhankara Dance is a happy dance. The Gaatka dance is another name for this style. This form is often used to celebrate a wedding.

Giddha Dance

West Punjab is thought to be where Giddha dance came from.

This dance style comes from an old style called “ring dancing.”

Kikli Dance

Kikli is more like a sport than a dance, and most young girls like to do it.

The dance is usually done by two people.

Folk Dances of Arunachal Pradesh

Folk dances like the Wancho, Khampti, Buiya, and Ponung Dances are done in Arunachal Pradesh.

Dance the Wancho

The Wancho Dance is done by a certain Arunachal Pradesh tribe.

This dance is only done at fairs, ceremonies, and other special events.

Khampti Dance

The Khampti Dance is mostly a traditional dance that the Khampti Communities do.

Some myths are used as inspiration for Khampti dancing. These are dramas with secret lessons for the people who watch them.

This is the Buiya Dance.

The Buiya dance of the Digaru Mishmis is done at any celebration, with the goal of bringing wealth and good health to the dancer and his family.

Ponung Dance

The Adi native people are known for their folk dance, the Ponung dance.

This is the dance of the women.

The goal of this festival is to pray for a good harvest and the well-being of everyone in the town.

Folk Dances of Haryana

Phag Dance

During the month of Phalgun, farmers perform this type of dance.

This dance can be done by both men and women.

During performances, men wear bright turbans and women wear colourful traditional clothes.

Dhamal Dance

The Ahirs, who live in the Gurgaon area, are known for their Dhamal dance.

Men are the only ones who dance this dance.

It is said that the people do this dance whenever their crops are ready to be picked.

Maharashtra’s folk dances

Tamasha

It is one of the most important types of folk theatre in Maharashtra.

These dances are based on songs called “Lavanis,” which are well-known love songs.

Tamasha has ties to two groups from Maharashtra: the Mahar and the Kolhati.

Lavani

Lavani is a mix of traditional dance and song that is mostly done to the beats of an instrument called “Dholak,” which sounds like a drum.

Beautiful women in nine-yard skirts dance this Indian folk dance.

The women spin around to the shaky beats of regular music.

Koli

Koli Folk Dance is another traditional dance from Maharashtra. It was named after the “Kolis,” a group of fishermen from the state.

The Kolis are known for their unique culture and their lively dances.

Dhangari Gaja

Dhangari Gaja is one of the most well-known Indian folk dances. It is done in the state of Maharashtra.

It is done by the Dhangar, who are farmers from the Solapur District.

Povadas

The life of the Marathi hero Shri Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is shown in Povadas, which are part of Marathi ballads.

The Povadas remind people of Shivaji, who was a well-known hero during his time.

Gujarati Folk Dances

Garba Dance

This is a dance that the women of Gujarat do. This dance style is related to Shakti-Puja and is thought to have come from worshipping the goddess Jagdamba.

During the festival of Navaratri, this dance is done for nine nights by women who move in circles and clap in time.

Dandiya dance

The most famous Dandiya dance is called the’stick’ dance.

This type of dance is always done in a group, in a circle, to a set number of steps.

People think that the sticks used in this form are Goddess Durga’s sword.

Bhavai

People think that the Bhavai Dance is a dance of emotions.

The Bhavai play is a show that goes on all night and is put on in open fields for people to watch as a form of entertainment.

Tippani Dance

The Tippani folk dance is one of the many folk dances in India that show how people in the community live and work.

During a wedding ritual, this dance is done.

Odisha’s folk dances

Pala

Pala is a popular show in Odisha and is closely linked to the ‘Satyapir’ cult.

The whole point of the Pala is to call on the god Satyapir, who looks out for the people’s well-being.

Daskathia

The word “Daskathia” comes from the Ganjam District. As it became more and more well-known, it spread to every other part of Odisha.

A “devotee” is called a “Dasa,” and a “Katha” is a set of tuned wooden pieces that a devotee uses to pray.

Danda Nata

The Kaibartas hold a festival in the month of Chaitra, from the day of the full moon to the eighth day of Vaisakha. During this time, Danda Nata is played.

People who take part in a Danda Nata ask Lord Shiva for his help to get a child, reach a goal, get rid of illness, find happiness in life, have a good harvest, or bring peace and happiness to all communities.

Prahlad Nataka

Prahlad Nataka is a type of traditional play that is very popular in Odisha. However, this form of folk art began in Ganjam District.

Bharat Lila

Bharat Lila is an example of how stories from the epics can be told through plays and dances.

It is the most colourful way to show Ganjam District of Odisha’s folk dance, which is popular there.

Dalkhai Dance

The tribal women of Odisha’s Sambalpur area put on an interesting dance show called “Dalkhai.”

During the “Dusserah” festival, the most famous folk dance in western Odisha, called “Dalkhai,” is performed.

Jumur or Jumu Nach

This dance is called “Jumur dance of tea garden” or “Chah Baganar Jumur Nach.”

This dance is very common in the areas around tea gardens. Girls and boys dance it together to help people relax while they work.

Bagurumba Dance

It is a traditional dance of the Bodo people, whose culture is very rich.

It has many folk dances to show off its culture, but the Bagurumba dance is the best and most beautiful of all of them.

Deodhani Dance

Deodhani can be danced alone or with a group.

In the group act, it is usually done by three or four women, and it is done when Devi Manasa or Maroi is worshipped.

Dhepa Dhuliya Dance

Dhepa Dhuliya Dance is another traditional Odisha folk art from the Darrang area.

In this dance show, two to four people play the Dhepadhol, which is played by beating it to make a unique sound.

Folk Dances of Madhya Pradesh

Maanch

Maanch is a type of operatic ballet and lyrical folk drama that is very famous in Malwa, in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

“Maanch” means the stage or place where a show takes place. It is also an indigenous and unique folk-art form.

Gaur Maria Dance

One of the most important dances of the Bison Horn Marias of Abhujmaria hill in Bastar, Madhya Pradesh, is the Gaur Maria dance.

This is a very beautiful and happy dance that is usually done at weddings as a call to the ceremony.

Jawara

It’s a dance that people in the Bundelkhand area of Madhya Pradesh do during harvest time. The farming community in the area does this dance to show how happy they are.

While dancing, the women wear a basket full of Jawara crop on their heads.

Manipur’s Folk dances

Dance Pung Cholom

Pung Cholom is a form of folk art that uses sounds and moves. Sometimes, it needs acrobatic skills and a lot of stamina.

The dancers themselves play the Mridanga (Pung) while putting on the show for the crowd.

Maibi Dance

The Meitei Manipuris who live in the valley of Manipur celebrate Lai Haraoba, which is an annual ritual holiday, with the Maibi dance.

Nupa Dance

The Nupa dance, also called Nupa Pala or Kartal Cholom, is a group dance that is only done by guys.

This dance shows the unique style of music and dance from Manipur. The dancers sing and move to the beat of the Pung.

Mizoram’s Folk dances

Mizoram has a Cheraw Dance

The Cheraw dance is also called the “Bamboo dance” because it is done with bamboo sticks.

This is one of the Mizos’ dances that is the most beautiful and unique.

Khuallam Dance in Mizoram

Khuallam is sometimes called the “dance of the guests,” and it is done at an event called “Khuangchawi.”

A group of men dance to the sounds of a drum and gong in this dance.

Chailam

This dance is done as part of the Chapchar Kut event.

Men and women stand in circles and dance this dance.

Sawlakin

This dance was originally done by the Lakher, but the Mizos have taken it up.

A hunter who has caught a person or an animal starts the dance.

Chheihlam

It is a group dance that both men and women do together.

It is done in the evening around a bowl of rice beer.

Zangtalam

This is a Paihte group dance.

Drums play the music, and people dance to it.

Sarlamkai

Sarlamkai is a different kind of dance from Solakia. However, this dance has different clothes.

They use gongs, cymbals, or drums.

Other North Eastern States folk dances

Bihu Dance, Assam

The Bihu is a part of Assam’s folk dance, and people from all walks of life enjoy it.

It is the most well-known and colourful Assamese folk dance.

Ankiya Nat, Assam

People think that Ankiya Nat is a one-act play that Sankardeva started.

Shankardeva wrote different kinds of literary works, like Bargeet, Ojha Pali songs, and a lot of dances, which were used in the Ankiya Nat dance play.

Other Folk Dances

Dollu Kunitha Dance, Karnataka

The Kunitha dances of Karnataka are thought to be ritual dances. The Dollu Kunitha is a famous ritual dance among the kurubas of the Beereshvara Sampradaya.

The dance form kunitha is famous in Karnataka. It is accompanied by the beat of drums and the singing of the dancers.

Hurka Baul Dance, Uttarakhand

The Hurka Baul dance is done on fields while paddy and maize are being grown.

The name of the dance comes from the Hurka, which is the drum used to make music for the dance, and the Baul, which is the song.

Pangi Dance, Himachal Pradesh

The Pangi dance of Himachal Pradesh is an interesting form of dance that is usually done by women.

The dancers stand in a circle and move slowly through the steps.

Dance of the Pandwani, Chhattisgarh

Pandwani is a ballad-style Indian folk dance that is mostly done in Chhattisgarh.

It is also famous in the tribal parts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, which are close by. It tells the story of the Mahabharata’s main characters, the Pandavas.

The story of Pandwani is told in a very lively way that almost makes the reader picture the scenes.

Chhattisgarh, Panthi

The Panthi dance is an important type of dance in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

The Satnami people of Chhattisgarh do this Indian folk dance as an important part of their religion.

Padayani, Kerala

Linked to the Padayani or Paddeni festival, which is held at some churches.

These kinds of shrines can be found in the districts of Alleppey, Quilon, Pathanamthitta, and Kottayam.

Bhairavi (Kali), Kalan (god of death), Yakshi (fairy), and Pakshi (bird) are the main Kolams (huge masks) on show in Padayani.

Taranga Mel

It is a very energetic dance that is done in Goa. Young boys and girls usually do it on the holidays of Dushehra and Holi.

It gets its name from the “tarang” ropes that are used in the dance. The dancers wave flags and streamers of different colours and make noise to the beat of instruments like the “Dhol” and “Romut.”

The dancers in Taranga Mel wear bright clothes, which makes it a dance that stands out. They create a spirit that makes everyone want to join in the celebrations.

Kummi

It is an Indian folk dance that is famous in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Most Tamil women dance it in a circle.

Dancing isn’t always the same. In some places, it’s very easy, with rhythmic clapping. “Kummi songs” are the songs that are often played with Kummi. It is often danced at parties and celebrations. Sri Lankan Tamils dance it as well. In modern times, Kummi songs have become a famous part of the Kuthiyottam celebrations.

India’s Martial dances

Kalarippayattu is a well-known Indian martial art from Kerala. It is also one of the oldest fighting styles in the world.

Silambam is an Indian martial art from Tamil Nadu that uses weapons.

Gatka is an Indian martial art that uses weapons. It was made by the Sikhs of Punjab.

Thang Ta: This is a common name for Huyen Lallong, which is an old form of Manipuri martial arts. Manipuri martial arts, which are done with swords and spears, are powerful and elegant at the same time.

Mardani Khel is a style of armed martial arts that was made by the Maratha. Kolhapur is where this traditional form of fighting from Maharashtra is taught.

The Paika Dance is an Orissa martial art that has stood the test of time.
Even now, Paika Akhadas live in a number of towns in the state. Gajapati Raja was thought to have put together an army of Paika fighters as early as the 1500s CE.
The brave Paikas started speaking out against the British masters in 1817, which was 40 years before the Sepoy Mutiny. Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mahapatra Bhramarabar Roy led the Paika Bidroha.
The Paiks of Khorda did not let the British into the area. Because of this, Khorda is known as India’s last free fort. The bravery of these fighters had an effect on Orissa’s art, architecture, and writing.
The images on the Konark Temple show how skilled the Paikas were in battle. This glorious martial practise has influenced a lot of Orissa’s performing arts, like the Mayurbhanj dance, the Ranapa dance, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions on Indian Dance Forms