Traditional Dances of India
We all have heard people say that Dancing is an art, art because it can be acquired with practice, but the way it is performed depends on an individual. India is a diverse country where people from diverse creed, culture, caste and religion are united in the name of Indians. Every culture is distinct and so are the dance forms belonging that region. Traditional Dance forms include Classical Dances of India and Folk Dances. All of them are performed with dexterity and represent the true essence of that particular region. In all there are seven classical dances of India namely Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Oddisi, Kuchipudi. All these dance forms are very difficult and require months of training to be able to perform well. Historically, these classical dances originated in from temples in ancient India where they were performed in front of the gods and goddesses. Classical Dances represent the major states of India to which they belong. Now let us know more about them.
Bharatnatyam is the oldest dance forms and is considered the mother of all other classical dance forms. This was performed in temples of Tamil Nadu in the southern part of India. Kathak, a classical dance form from Uttar Pradesh was also perdormed in temples in earlier times. It involves usage of hand gestures and footwork. Kathak is derived from “katha” and is a dance form that depicts storytelling during the performance. Kathakali, a dance form from Kerala is a treat to the eye. It involves strong expressions and gestures with its attractively elaborate costumes. Kuchipudi dance of Andhra Pradesh is performed on the violin beats and is a popular dance form in south India. In this dance form that characters are introduced themselves first of all. Manipuri dance form originated in Manipuri is based on Radha and Krishna. Mohiniattam dance from Kerala is again a dance form that involves gestures, expressions and footwork.
Folk dances of India are regional dance forms and are done by tribal people in some parts of India on special occasions and celebrations. Popular folk dance forms of India unlike Classical Dances are not recognized nationwide except a few and are confined to the regional boundaries. Some popular folk dances are Kalbeliya, Ghoomar, Bhavai from Rajasthan, Bihu from Assam, Garba from Gujrat, Lavani from Maharashtra, Bhangra and Gidda from Punjab, Raut Nacha from Chattisgarh, Matki Dance from Madhya Pradesh and numerous others. It is a treat to see artists perform all the dances in synchronization and its difficult to resist tapping one’s feet.