Dances of India

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 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.

Semi classical dance-The steps and moves of semi-classical dance are not as complex or intricate as pure classical forms. However, the authenticity of the Indian dance form is preserved and students are able to grasp these lighter semi-classical dances easily. Semi-classical dances are fun and fluid.

This type of dance breaks the stylized structures and forms of the classical dance, and adopts a more contemporary feel and steps,. All along the ethos of the basic dance remains intact. Semi classical is the combination of classical dance performed on any Bhajans and Ghazals.

Folk danceThe term folkdance describes dances that share some or all of the following attributes:

  • Dances performed at social functions by people with little or no professional training, often to traditionally based music.
  • Dances not generally designed for public performance or the stage, though may be later arranged and set for stage performances.
  • Execution dominated by an inherited tradition rather than innovation (though folk traditions change over time)
  • New dancers often learn informally by observing others and/or receiving help from others.

More controversially, some people define folk dancing as dancing for which there is no governing body or dancing for which there are no competitive or professional performance