18 major dance forms of India

Last Modified: Sun Sep 27 2015 19:25:30 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • #1
    Bagurumba (Assamese: বাগৰুম্বা নৃত্য) is a folk dance of indigenous Bodo tribe in Assam and Northeast India. Usually practiced during Bwisagu, a festival of the Bodos during Bishuba Sankranti or Mid-April. The dance is referred to as the "butterfly dance" as its motion resembles butterflies.
  • #2
    Bhaṅgṛā (Punjabi: ਭੰਗੜਾ ) refers to the traditional dance originating in the Majha area of the Punjab region. A seasonal dance, traditionally practiced in the month leading up to the festival of Vaisakhi and the harvesting of the local weath crop.
  • #3
    Bharathanatyam (Tamil: பரதநாட்டியம்) is a classical dance that originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu.Known for its grace, purity, tenderness, expression and sculpturesque poses. One of the most popular and widely performed dance styles practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.
  • #4
    The Bihu dance (Assamese: বিহু নৃত্য, Hindi: बिहू नृत्य) is a folk dance of Assam related to the Bihu festival. This joyous dance is performed by both young men and women, and is characterized by brisk dance steps,and rapid hand movement.
  • #5
    Chhau dance is a tribal martial dance popular in the states of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Mainly performed during regional festivals, especially the spring festival of Chaitra Parva which lasts for thirteen days and in which the whole community participates.
  • #6
    Dandiya Raas is the traditional folk dance form of Gujarat. Originated as a devotional form, performed during the fesitval of Navratri. This dance form is actually the staging of a mock-fight between the Goddess Durga and Mahishasura, the mighty demon-king.
  • #7
    Garba is a traditional folk dance form of Gujarat performed during the fesitval of Navratri. The dancers honor Durga, the feminine form of divinity. Performed in a circle as a symbol of the Hindu view of time which is cylical - from birth, to life, to death and again to rebirth, the only thing that is constant is the Goddess.
  • #8
    Giddha is a popular folk dance of Punjab that is performed only by the ladies. This dance is the female counterpart of the Bhangra, and has the same tempo of high-spirited revelry. Giddha or Gidha is performed during festive or social occasions, especially during the sowing and reaping of harvest.
  • #9
    Lavani is a combination of song and dance that is most commonly associated with the state of Maharashtra as well as the surrounding areas in the Konkan or Coastal Region. The word ‘Lavani’ is derived from the word Lavanya, which means ‘beauty’. Lavani aims to take various aspects of social life such as politics, religion, romance, etc. and present them in an entertaining form.
  • #10
    Ghoomar, a Bhil tribe folk dance of Rajasthanm is a symbol of womanhood. A rite of passage in which young girls participate to declare that they are now stepping into the shoes of a woman. Originally performed for worshiping Goddess Sarswati.
  • #11
    Kathak is one the eight classical dance forms in India. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words – Katha (story) and . Katthaka (narrator of a story). Hence this dance form which narrates a story through the expressions and body movements came to be called Kathak.
  • #12
    Kathakali (Malayalam: കഥകളി, kathakaḷi; Sanskrit: कथकळिः, kathākaḷiḥ) is a stylized classical Indian dance-drama noted for the attractive make-up of characters, elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. Originated in Kerala during the 17th century.
  • #13
    Kuchipudi is a classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh. Known for its impressive, quick footwork, dramatic characterization, expressive eye movements and spirited narrative. A distinctive feature of this dance is the execution on a brass plate, and moving the plate to the accompaniment of music
  • #14
    Mohiniyattam, (Malayalam: മോഹിനിയാട്ടം), is a classical dance form from Kerala. comes from the words "Mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. Performed as solo recitals by women.
  • #15
    Manipuri is one of the 8 major Indian classical dance forms, popular in Manipur. Purely religious, based on the theme of Radha and Krishna, particularly the raslila.
  • #16
    Nautanki (Hindi: नौटंकी) is a folk theater and operatic drama form, popular in northern India especially in Uttar Pradesh. Before the advent of cinema in India, it was the most popular form of entertainment prevalent in these areas. Usually a nautanki consisted of folklore and mythological dramas with interludes of folk songs and dances.
  • #17
    Odissi, (Odia: ଓଡିଶୀ Oḍiśī), is one of 8 classical dance forms of India, originated from Odisha. It is the oldest surviving dance form of India. Characterised by the Tribhangi (literally: three parts break), the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis and the Chauka (square stance) that symbolises Lord Jagannath.
  • #18
    Yakshagana (yakṣagāna, [jəkʃəɡaːnə]) (kannada: ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ) is a folk theater form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques. Mainly found in the coastal districts and the Malenadu region of Karnataka.