Dances of India

Dances of India

Classical Dances of India

Dance in India is generally classified as classical or folk. However, later many other classifications have also come up in recent times. Forms of dances are originated from different part of India’s local traditions & culture. Explore the different form of dances in this blog.

1. Bharatanatyam:


This dance form is a South Indian dance form that is widely famed across the country. It is mainly learnt and performed by South Indian women. Amongst all forms of classical dances, Bharatanatyam is considered the most notable and important. This dance is performed alone by the dancer on a particular theme. It also involves a fixed upper body with bent knees. The dance is also very expressive, so it also focuses on the eyes and facial muscles of the dancer as well. It is also called as “Sadir”. It got popular mainly during the 20th century. The dance is known to convey messages and idea of Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Shaktism.

2. Kathakali:


Kathakali is a dance form that is famous in kerala. it is also one of the primary dance forms after bharatanatyam. this dance form is performed to present a story or play or drama through dance. it can be distinguished due to its unique attire, make-up, and gestures. even though the dance is pretty popular, the origin of the dance form is still not known. however, it got famous during the 17th century. the dance is also known to spread across the country as it was performed in various hindu temples. the dance is also known to include steps that are part of martial arts as well. so, if a tourist if visiting kerala, watching this dance performance is a must.

3. Kathak:


This dance form is not profound to a single state, unlike the Bharatanatyam or Kathakali. It is famed over entire north India. The name means “story”. So, the dance is performed to tell a story to the audience. This dance form can be considered to be inspired by the Greek. This is because Greek theatrical performances also involved storytelling through music and dances in a similar fashion. The Kathak originated in India during the Bhakti movement which was a social reformation of religions. The dance is now performed in several parts of northern India. The dance is renowned for its facial expressions, hand movements, spins, and small bells around the foot also known as “Ghungroo”.

4. Kuchipudi:


It is a classical dance form that is popular in Andhra Pradesh. The dance originated in a village called Kuchipudi, so the dance is known as that. This dance form is performed by dances to showcase a drama performance. This performance should mainly be connected to the Hindu Sanskrit text. However, there are also proofs which state that the dance was famed during the 10th century as well. The dance begins with a prayer and then is developed by complicated footwork. The music for the dance performance is usually Carnatic music from instruments such as mridangam, veena, tambura, and much more.

5. Mohiniyattam:


Just like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam is also another dance form that was found in Kerala. It is considered to be one of the top 8 classical dances of India. Mythologically, Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Mohini, a female dancer to destroy evil. So, the dance gets its name from mythology. This dance is performed by females. However, the song could be sung by musicians separately or the dancer herself can sing the song. The music is usually Carnatic music or Maniprvalam, a mix of Malayalam and Sanskrit language. The dance originated in the 16th century. However, it was banned in the 18th century by the British, but later it was restored after independence.

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