Famous traditional dance forms of India you should know about

Updated on Aug 07, 2022 08:38 PM IST

The beauty of traditional Indian dance forms is unmatchable. India is home to some of the most beautiful and distinct classical dances that are renowned worldwide. Here is all that you need to know about these dance forms.

Art Diaries : Famous traditional dance forms of India you should know about(pinterest )
Art Diaries : Famous traditional dance forms of India you should know about(pinterest )
ByAkanksha Agnihotri, Delhi

India is a nation with a diverse and rich culture. Many traditional dances and artistic disciplines are practised here. Indian classical dance styles are well-known throughout the world. Indian culture is largely influenced by dance and music. The distinctiveness of classical dances is a result of their varied facial expressions, gorgeous costumes, dramatic makeup, and rhythms of traditional music. However, where are the origins of Indian dance? The following list includes a few of India's most significant classical dance genres. ( Also read : Dancers mix Bharatanatyam and Hip Hop to create amazing dance routine.)

1. Kathak

One of the most popular Indian classical dance styles is kathak. It is said to have come from the wandering storytellers known as Kathakars in North India. It is Uttar Pradesh's traditional dancing style. The three main styles of Kathak, or "gharanas," are named after the places where the Kathak dance tradition originated: Jaipur, Banaras, and Lucknow. The early Kathak attire consisted of a ghaghra (long skirt), a choli (blouse), and a veil. It eventually made way for churidhar, pyjamas, angrakha, and a sari for ladies. Famous kathak performers include Birju Maharaj, Lachhu Maharaj, Gopi Krishna, Sitara Devi, and Damyanti Joshi.

2. Bharatnatyam

Bharatnatyam
Bharatnatyam

The oldest form of traditional Indian dance is called Bharatanatyam. Tamil Nadu is thought to be where it first appeared. A well-rehearsed and carefully choreographed blend of facial expressions, hand gestures, dance steps, and eye movements is used in a Bharatanatyam performance. Carnatic music is mainly used for performance. Bharatanatyam costumes often come in two varieties. They are pyjama-style and have a different skirt design. These two outfit designs are artistic and provide the dancer with comfort so they can do the actions that correspond to the "Tala sounds." Heavy jewellery and makeup are ordinary for Bharatnatyam dancers. Some of the famous name in the dance field include Rukmini Devi, Padma Subrahmanyam, Alarmel Valli, Yamini Krishnamurthy and Mallika Sarabhai.

3. Kathakali

Kathakali
Kathakali

One of the main classical Indian dance genres is Kathakali. It has international renown. It's known to have its roots in Kerala. The male actor-dancers wear lavishly colourful make-up, costumes, and face masks, which set this kind of art apart from other "story plays." Orchestra makes up the majority of the music. Kathakali performers typically dress in white and red tones, using bulky headgear and wearing dramatic makeup. Famous Kathakali performers include K.P. Namboothiri, Kalamandalam M. Gopalakrishnan, and K.S. Rajeevan.

4. Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi
Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi is a drama-based dance performance. Its roots are in the ancient Hindu sanskrit text of Natya Shastra. It is originated from the state of Andhra Pradesh. All roles in the dance drama are played by men. Usually it depicts the tale of Lord Krishna and tradition of Vaishnavism. In Kuchipudi, a male character wears dhoti while a female character wears a colourful sari that is stitched with a pleated cloth which opens like fan while displaying beautiful footwork. Make-up is generally light complemented with traditional jewellery of the region which adorns the hair, nose, ear, arms and neck of the artist. Famous Kuchipudi artist incule Ragini Devi, Yamini Krishnamurti and Raja and Radha Reddy.

5. Manipuri

Manipuri(dreamstime)
Manipuri(dreamstime)

As suggested by the name, Manipuri dance originated in Manipur. It is typically done using themes from Ras Lila and Vaishnavism. Its origins can be found in "Natya Shastra," just as other classical dance styles. The flute and drum are the main musical instruments used in the dance style. When compared to other Indian dances, it is more quiet. In sharp contrast to the other Indian traditional dances, the performer does not wear ghunghru. Male dancers typically wear a dhoti, a kurta, and a white turban, while female dancers typically don a long, stiff skirt with ornate embellishments in the shape of a barrel. Some of the well-known Manipuri dancers include Nirmala Mehta, Guru Bipin Sinha, and Yumlembam Gambhini Devi.

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