Different dance forms in India



India is a rich and diverse country where people from different backgrounds live together and help each other, following the principle of unity in diversity. Here the people follow different traditions and cultures. One culture or tradition which all Indians enjoy is dance; especially classical dance.

Indian classical dance or 'Shastriya Devesh' is a term used for various performing arts which come from religious Hindu musical theatre styles, whose theory can be traced to the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra. Among several Indian dance forms, a few oldest dance forms are:- 

Bharatanatyam: - This is the oldest dance form of India. It originated from the temples of Tamil Nadu and now it is widely spread across vast areas.

Kathak: - This dance form is common in central India, mainly in Uttar Pradesh. The word ‘Kathak’ means to “tell a story”. It is performed with ankle bells and the main movement is the foot movement.

Kathakali: - This dance form has a group of dancers who present various roles based on Hindu mythology. It was originated in Kerala. Here, audiences are taken on a visual journey. This form uses colours to describe the character’s moods.

Kuchipudi: - This dance form originated in a village named Kuchipudi in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. First, it began as an all-male dance form but a few years back in the 20s it opened for females as well.

Odissi: - As the name suggests, this dance first started in Odisha. This dance is characterised by tribhangi. It is a concept that divides the human body into three parts which are head, bust and torso.

Manipuri: - This dance form is also known as ‘Jagoi’. As the name suggests, it originated in Manipur and it is a common dance form in northeast India. The main theme of this dance is Lord Krishna’s Raas Leela which represents Lord Krishna’s dance with his gopis.

Mohiniyattam: - Just like Kathakali; Mohiniyattam, is also an Indian classical dance form of Kerala. This dance form started in 16s and was performed by women after a lot of training.

Sattriya: - Sattriya, or Sattriya Nritya, is a major Indian classical dance which first started in Assam. This dance originated as a part of the neo-Vaishnavite movement started by Srimanta Sankardev in Assam, in the 15th Century.

So, now I hope that you came to know the basics about Indian classical dance forms which are India's pride and also India's beauty.


 Toshani Mehra 

Delhi Public School, Greater Noida

class 7


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