Dances of India

Some Important Dances of India


  • Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh): Kuchipudi is a Classical Indian dance from Andhra Pradesh. Kuchipudi derives its name from the name of a village (Kuchelapuram) of its origin. It closely Resembles Bharatnatyam. However, its movements are much faster and style is free.
  • Mohiniattam (Kerala): Mohiniyattam, is a classical dance form from Kerala. It is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms recognized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. The word ‘mohini’ literally means a maiden who exerts desire or steals the heart of the onlooker. In format, this is similar to odissi and costumes sober and attractive. It is essentially a solo dance.
  • Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu): Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance form originating in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The earliest exponents of Bharatnatyam were the devadasis (temple dancers) in South India. The technique of Bharatnatyam consists of 64 Principles of coordinated hand, foot, face and body movements which are performed to the accompaniment of dance syllabus, popularly known as bolls.
  • Kathak (North India): Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh. The word Kathak is derived from Katha which means story. The Kathak dance goes through a regular format mostly concentrating on rhythm, variously called tether, palates, thorns, amid and parans.
  • Kathakali (Kerala): It originated in the country’s present day state of Kerala during the 17th century. Kathakali combines music, poetry, mime and drama. This dance-drama is usually performed in the open and usually lasts the whole night. The themes are taken from the Ramayan, the Mahabharata and Hindu mythology.
  • Nat-Natin (Bihar): It is one of the important dances of Bihar. It is performed by both Men and Women.
  • Nati (Himachal Pradesh): The beauty of hilly Himachal finds an expression in the languid and elegant movements that form a part of the marvelous Nati dance. This dance depicts all the activities involved in sowing the crop and reaping it. Important among the dances of Nati is ‘Losar Shona Chuksom’ which takes its name from Lasai, or the New Year.
  • Rauf (Jammu & Kashmir): It is the most popular dance in the Kashmir Valley and is restricted only to the women folk.
  • Hattari (Karnataka): The Hattari dance is done during harvesting season among the Kodvas of coorg in Mysore.
  • Yakshagana (Karnataka): It is one of the popular folk dance-drama as it contains a good number of classical and literary elements besides those of many folk and tribal ones.
  • Bhangra (Punjab): Bhangra refers to several types of Punjab style dance. Pujnab dancing in general, especially when done to popular Bhangra music, is often casually called “Bhangra”.
  • Garhwali (Uttarakhand): The people of Garhwal region of Uttarakhand are fond of dancing, as testified by the several distinct dance forms. The Garhwali dance forms are: Langvir Nritya, Barada Nati, Shotiya and Pandva Nritya etc.
  • Odissi (Odisha): Odissi, also known as Orissi, is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. It is considered to be the oldest form of classical dance taking back to pre-Christan era Odissi is built on the principle that the human body is meant to be employed in deflection.
  • Manipuri (Manipur): Manipuri dance is one of the major Indian classical dance forms. It originates from Manipur, a state in north-eastern India. Manipur is purely religious dance which is used to invoke divine blessing. Manipur involves a movement of head, hands and feet, in complete harmony. Another feature of this dance is that the men and women dance together.
  • Bihu (Assam): The Bihu dance is a folk dance from the Indian state of Assam related to the festival of Bihu. Bihu dance is a folk dance from the Indian state of Asom (Assam) related to the festival of Bihu. This joyous dance is performed by both young men and women and is characterized by brisk dance steps, and rapid hand movement. Dancers wear traditionally colourful Assamese clothing.
  • Garba (Gujarat): Garba is an Indian form of dance that originated in the Gujarat region. Garba is an Indian form of dance that originated in the Gujarat region. Many traditional garbas are performed around a central lit lamp or picture/statues of different avatars of Goddess Shakti. The circular and spiral figures of Garba have similarities to other spiritual dances, such as those of Sufi culture.

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