The Indian dances

The India is a land of diversities. Various climatic conditions have made India a diverse country. In all spheres of Indian life diversities are clearly visible. These diversities have made the Indian culture a unique one. Like all other aspects of life, the dance forms of India are also varied and different. There are many types of dance forms in India, from those which are deeply religious in content to those which are performed on small occasions.

The Indian dances are broadly divided into Classical dances and folk dances. The Classical dances of India are usually spiritual in content. Though the folk dances of India are also spiritual and religious in content but the main force behind the folk dances of India is the celebratory mood. Dances are a form of coherent expression of human feelings. Like the Indian culture, Indian classical dances are equally diverse in nature. There are numerous classical dance forms in India and innumerable folk dances. Each dance form can be traced to different parts of the country. Each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or a group of people

The most popular classical dance styles of India are Bharatnatyam of Tamil Nadu, Kathakali and Mohiniattam of Kerala, Odissi of Orissa, Kathak of Uttar Pradesh, Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh and Manipuri of Manipur.

Indian Classical Dances
India has thousands of year old tradition of fine arts and classical and folk music and dances. Some of the world-famous dance forms that originated and evolved in India are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam and Odissi. All these dance forms use basically the same 'mudras' or signs of hand as a common language of expression and were originally performed in the temples to entertain various Gods and Goddesses.

Indian Classical Dancers
Indian classical dance has a distinct character that reflects the great cultural and traditional endeavor. The forms of Indian dance have transcended beyond the fences and socio-cultural hindrances. Exponents of the Indian classical dance believe that it has the caliber of creating a new and disciplined lifestyle. The Indian Classical Dance is often regarded as the form of worship and meditation. The performers of Indian Classical Dance, despite of the background and forms, have played a crucial role in presenting India to the forefront of the World stage.

Indian Folk Dances
India is a land of varied cultures and traditions. Diversities in all spheres make the Indian culture quite unique. Indian folk and tribal dances are product of different socio-economic set up and traditions. Indian folk and tribal dances are simple and are performed to express joy. In India we have festivals and celebrations virtually every day. This has added to the richness of Indian culture. Since every festival is accompanied by celebration, folk dances have become an integral part of our social milieu.



Indian Classical Dances
Bharatnatyam
Kathak
Kathakali
Kuchipudi
Manipuri
Mohiniattam
Odissi
Indian Classical Dancers
Mallika Sarabhai
Pandit Birju Maharaj
Rukmini Devi Arundale
Shovana Narayan
Sonal Mansingh
Uday Shankar
Yamini Krishnamurthy
Indian Folk Dances
Central India
East India
North East India
North India
South India
South West India
West India


Classical Dances of India


Dance is an ancient and celebrated cultural tradition in India. Folk dances abound all across the country, and huge crowds of people can be found dancing at festivals and weddings. Dance and song features heavily in Indian cinema (so-called “Bollywood” films), too. But where does Indian dance draw its roots from? Here are six of the most important classical dance forms of India.


1 Bharatanatyam

 Indian dance Bharata natyam
Bharatanatyam is a dance of Tamil Nadu in southern India. It traces its origins back to the Natyashastra, an ancient treatise on theatre written by the mythic priest Bharata. Originally a temple dance for women, bharatanatyam often is used to express Hindu religious stories and devotions. It was not commonly seen on the public stage until the 20th century. The dance movements are characterized by bent legs, while feet keep rhythm. Hands may be used in a series of mudras, or symbolic hand gestures, to tell a story.

2 Kathakali



Kathakali tradional dance actor. One of the main forms of classical dance-drama of India.  Kochi (Cochin), India.  (Indian actor; Indian dance; traditional dance)
Kathakali comes from southwestern India, around the state of Kerala. Like bharatanatyam, kathakali is a religious dance. It draws inspiration from the Ramayana and stories from Shaiva traditions. Kathakali is traditionally performed by boys and men, even for female roles. The costumes and makeup are especially elaborate, with faces made to look like painted masks and enormous headdresses.

3 Kathak


Indian classical dance.  Kathak school dancer in Mughal costume.

4 Manipuri


Indian classical dance.  Manipuristyle performance of ras.
Mohan Khokar
Manipuri comes from Manipur in northeastern India. It has its roots in that state’s folk traditions and rituals, and often depicts scenes from the life of the god Krishna. Unlike some of the other, more rhythmic dances, Manipuri is characterized by smooth and graceful movements. Female roles are especially fluid in the arms and hands, while male roles tend to have more forceful movements. The dance may be accompanied by narrative chanting and choral singing.

5 Kuchipudi


Kuchipudi performance.
Vasanthakumarep
Unlike the other styles mentioned, kuchipudi requires talent in both dancing and singing. This dance, from the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India, is highly ritualized, with a formalized song-and-dance introduction, sprinkling of holy water, and burning of incense, along with invocations of goddesses. Traditionally the dance was performed by men, even the female roles, although now it is predominantly performed by women.

6 Odissi


Odissi Indian classical female dancer on white background. (Indian dancer; classical dancer; Indian dance)
Odissi is indigenous to Orissa in eastern India. It is predominantly a dance for women, with postures that replicate those found in temple sculptures. Based on archaeological findings, odissi is belived to be the oldest of the surviving Indian classical dances. Odissi is a very complex and expressive dance, with over fifty Madras (symbolic hand gestures) commonly used.
The Indian dances The Indian dances Reviewed by by Dance GURU on December 18, 2017 Rating: 5

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