21 Different Dance forms of India - Famous Dances

21 Different Dance forms of India - Famous Dances

Submitted by :- Bhanu    Last updated :- Nov 25 2013     View count :- 5351

Top 10 Dance forms of India

1.      Bharata Natyam:

Bharatnatyam Dance form - India

Bharatnatyam is a popular Classcial dance, originated from south Indian State - Tamilnadu in Thanjavoor. Literally, Bha-Ra-Ta-Natyam is 'Bha'-Bhavam, which means expression, 'Ra'-Raagam i.e music, 'Ta'-Taalam i.e Rhythm & Natyam i.e Dance. It is the purest form of classical dance based on the music Instruments like Mridangam, pair of cymbals, Veena, Violin, Ghatam and Flute. Bharatanatyam begin with the prayers to Lord Ganesha and worship of Nataraja Moorthi. This dance form is purely based on 'bhavabhinaya'- facial expression and 'hasthamudra'- hand gestures.  Earlier, Bharatanatyam was performed at temples in service of God by 'Devadasis'.


2.      Kathak:

Kathak - classical dance form of India

Kathak is one of the popular classical dances of India, originated from North India - Uttar Pradesh. Basically, Kathak got its name from the word Katha, here that means the art of storytelling. Performer of this dance conveys the stories of ancient and legends of Hindu mythology in the form of Dance. Kathak is similar to Bharata Natyam and it is carried out by both men and women. Earlier, Kathak was devoted to Hindu gods in temples; later this dance form was performed in front of Hindu and Muslim Maharajas (kings & Nawabs).


3.      Kathakali:

Kathakali - traditional dance form of India

Kathakali is a very famous traditional dance form of India, originated from the south Indian state - Kerala.  In general, the word Kathakali means a "Story-Play".  This dance form is popular for its elaborated Costumes and Makeup. Dancers paint their face with colorful make up and wear heavy costumes. 'Chottikkaran', a special person, who is a revered teacher, does the makeup for Kathakali artists according to the mood and character of a dance is required. A Kathakali Performer expresses his ideas and act of play through Mudras (hand gestures). Kathakali is an ancient dance form of India and represents the art of Kerala.


4.      Chakyar Koothu:

Chakyar Koothu - Kerala Traditional Dance

Chakyar Koothu is a traditional dance form, originated from the south Indian state, Kerala. The dancer of this form narrates stories of Epics & puranas in the form of dance. This dance form is performed in Hindu temples only by the members of Chakyar Community. The area where Chakyar Koothu is performed is known as Koothambalam. Mizhavu, is a big copper drum used as a instrument while performing Koothu.


5.      Chhau:

Chhau Tribal Dance of Orissa

Chhau is an indian tribal dance and is popular in states like Orissa, Jharkhand and west Bengal of India. Chhau Dance is performed by men mostly at the regional festivals, particularly at the chaitra parva spring festival.


6.      Koodiyattam:

Koodiyattam - ancient dance of Kerala, India

Koodiyattam is very ancient dance form of India, Originated from Kerala of South India. It is also called as Kuttiyattam, which means Combined Acting or Dancing together. Koodiyattam, dance form was identified by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


7.      Krishnattam or Krishnanattam:

Krishnattam - sacred classical Dance of Kerala

Krishnattam is a sacred form of classical Dance/Drama in Kerala performed with colorful masks for evil characters. It is a Temple art, at present Performed at Guruvayur temple of Kerala. This Dance/drama is based on 'Krishnagiti', the stories of Lord Krishna in a series of 8 plays i.e Avataram, Kaliyamardanam, Rasakrida, Kamsavadham, Swayamvaram, Banayuddham, Vividavadham and Swargarohanam. The performer of this dance form focuses mostly on Facial expressions & Bodily gestures, else narrating the story.


8.      Kuchipudi:

Kuchipudi - Classical dance of Andhra Pradesh,India

Kuchipudi is well known classical dance form of India, Originated from South Indian State, Andhra Pradesh. Kuchipudi derives its name from Divi Taluka of Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh, India. This dance form delivers the stories of Hindu Epics and mythological tales in the form of dance/dramas with classical music. The songs/lyrics used for performing Kuchipudi dance form is in Telugu language.


9.      Manipuri:

Manipuri - classical dance of Manipur, India

Manipuri is one among the major and popular classical dance forms of India, Originated from North-eastern state of India-Manipur. The origin of Manipuri dance form dates back to the ancient time and is related to rituals and Traditions of Manipur. Manipuri Dance form has various styles like Ras Lila; which describes the love between Radha and Krishna, Gostha Lila, Nupa Pala, Pung Cholam, Lai Haroaba etc. Cymbal & Dhak are the main musical instruments used while performing this dance form. The costumes & ornaments used for Manipuri dance are very attractive and colorful.


10.  Mohiniattam:

Mohiniyattam - Kerala Classical dance

Mohiniattam, which is also called as Mohiniyattam is a very famous and graceful form of classical dance of India. It is an ancient form of dance Originated in 16th century from Southern State of India in Kerala. Literally, Mohiniattam means 'dance of the enchantress' and is performed by Women with suggestive gestures, rhythmic footwork and lyrical music. Love & Sringara is the main theme of this dance form. Earlier, this dance form was performed by a single woman, later it has enhanced so as to be performed by women in a group.


Other Popular Dances of India

Below are some of the other Famous dance forms of India:

11.  Odissi
12.  Ottan Thullal
13.  Yaksha Gana 
14.  Bhangra
15.  Bihu
16.  Dandiya Dance / kolatam


17.  Garba
18.  Giddha
19.  Tamasha/lavani Dance
20.  Dindi
21.  Kalbelia


Tags :- Various Dance Forms of India, Classical Dances of India
Keywords :- Bharatnatyam Tamil Nadu, Mohiniattam Kerala, Kathakali Kerala, Odissi Orissa, Kathak Uttar Pradesh, Kuchipuddi Andhra Pradesh, Manipuri Manipur
Other posts of this user
Comments (0)

Back to TOP