Dance forms of India- Glympse of the Artistic Heritage of the Country

MyTravaly_Logo  Michelle Singh Aulakh 15 Jun, 2023 6 mins read 37
Dance forms of India- Glympse of the Artistic Heritage of the Country

India has a rich cultural legacy, and dance plays an important part in highlighting the country's diversity and vibrancy. India has several regional dance forms that have evolved over the ages, reflecting the unique customs, rites, and aesthetics of different regions. In this article, we will look at some of India's most prominent regional dance traditions, as well as their origins and localities.


Kathakali is a sophisticated dance-drama genre from the southern state of Kerala that incorporates elements of dance, music, and acting. Kathakali, which is known for its extravagant makeup, vivid costumes, and extravagant facial emotions, depicts legendary legends and epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Kochi, in Kerala, is renowned for its Kathakali performances.


Odissi is a delicate and lyrical classical dance form that originated in the eastern state of Odisha. Its origins can be traced back to ancient temple rites and sculptures. Odissi is distinguished by fluid movements, precise footwork, and expressive expressions that portray emotions and narratives. Bhubaneswar and Puri serve as significant places to learn and perform Odissi.


Bharatanatyam, which originated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is one of the country's oldest and most widely performed classical dance genres. Bharatanatyam, which is known for its precise movement, expressive hand gestures, and complex body movements, frequently tells stories from Hindu mythology. Chennai, Tamil Nadu's capital city, is a center for Bharatanatyam performances and training.


Mohiniyattam is a subtle and feminine dance genre from the Indian state of Kerala. It's distinguished by swaying movements, dramatic gestures, and sophisticated eye movements. Mohiniyattam frequently depicts Hindu mythology stories, with a focus on the love and devotion of mythical heroines. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's capital, is a centre for Mohiniyattam performances.


Bhangra is a vibrant and dynamic folk dance form that developed in the state of Punjab. It is played at festivals and festivities, particularly during the harvest season. Bhangra is characterised by strong dances, high leaps, and the repetitive beating of feet to the sounds of traditional Punjabi music. The cities of Amritsar and Ludhiana are widely recognised for their Bhangra performances.


Manipuri dance, which emerged in the northeastern state of Manipur, is an energetic and rhythmic genre that represents the region's rich cultural past. It mixes beautiful motions, complex hand gestures, and rhythmic feet. Manipuri dance frequently represents Hindu mythology and local folklore. Imphal, Manipur's capital city, is the primary center for Manipuri dance.


Garba is a vibrant traditional dance genre that originated in Gujarat, India's westernmost state. It is done as part of the Navaratri celebration, which commemorates the triumph of good over evil. Garba is characterised by circular dances, hand clapping, and the usage of colourful sticks known as dandiyas. Ahmedabad and Vadodara are popular for their Garba festivals.


Kathak is a Northern Indian classical dance genre that emerged from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is distinguished by its rhythmic footwork, elegant spins, and storytelling with hand gestures and facial emotions. Kathak is influenced by both Hindu and Islamic traditions, and it incorporates both narrative and abstract components. Kathak performances are widely recognised in the cities of Lucknow, Jaipur, and Delhi.


Sattriya is a traditional dance genre that was born in the Northeast Indian state of Assam. Its origins may be traced back to Vaishnavite monasteries known as "Sattras." Sattriya portrays mythical stories and spiritual ideas via beautiful movements, rhythmic footwork, and emotions. Male monks used to perform the dance genre, but now both male and female artists exhibit their talent. Guwahati is a popular destination for Sattriya dance.

Wrapping Up words

These dance genres are only a small part of India's rich cultural legacy. Each area has its own unique dance traditions that have been passed down through centuries, preserving the country's rich creative past. These dances continue to enchant audiences in India and throughout the world by exhibiting the beauty, elegance, and diversity of Indian culture.

Written By:

Michelle Singh Aulakh
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