Dances & Music of India

  • Dance in India is a rhythm. Eyes, faces, hands and feet move to varying moods, reflecting an idiom of the perfection of an ancient art.

    India is the home of Bharatanatyam, once performed in temples by devdasis, and of Kathak, a testimony to the court of Lucknow and the pleasure-loving nawabs. Come watch the great care taken to express love and its manifold manifestations in the gestures of a Manipuri dancer. From Odissi to Kuchipudi to ballet and numerous folk dances, the Indian dance sequence weavers an intricate rhythm that is the philosophy of dance. In temples or in courts, from backyards to the great auditoria, Indian dance reflects an magnificent heritage, individually perfected by each dancer.

    The major percussion instrument is the tabla, pakhawaj or mridangam played to an intricate beat by the artist's fingers. Other major instruments are the sitar and veena, stringed instruments, the harmonium, a keyboard instrument, and the tanpura - a stringed instrument used as a drone, the shehnai and nadaswaram are wind instruments used at weddings and associated with welcomes and joyous celebrations.

    The excitement of the Bhangra from Punjab never ceases. The skirts of the women spinning to the Dandiya Rass flip-flap to the clack-clack of the sticks in their hands. Qawwali singers clap their hands in time to the beat of the song. And the milk-maids look beseechingly as Krishna and Radha dance the Raas Lila.

    The living arts of music and dance in India reflect the diverse cultures from which they have arisen: each is elaborate, improvised, yet formal and beautiful
     

    Popular Classical Dances of India 
    Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohniattam, Kathkali, Odissi, Manipuri, Kathak, Chhau

    Popular Classical Music of India 
    Hindustani Classic Vocal Music, Carnatic Vocal Music, Sitar, Sarod, Santoor, Sarangi, Shehnai, Violin, Nagaswaram, Flute, Veena, Ghatam, Tabla