Difference between Classical and Folk Dance

Difference between Classical and Folk Dance is explained here in detail. This topic is important from the perspective of Indian Art and Culture Syllabus. The 2 major dance forms in India are classical and folk dance and the major difference between both these dances is their origin. Classical dance has a deep-rooted relationship with the Natya Shastra. Folk dance, on the other hand, emerged from the local tradition of the respective state, ethnic or geographic regions.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Difference between Classical and Folk Dance – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Difference between Classical Dance and Folk Dance

The major differences between Classical vs Folk Dance are:

Classical Dance Folk Dance
The classical dance originates from Natya Shastra. The 2 basic aspects of Classical dance are Lasya and Tandava. Folk dance is the kind of dance that is developed by the people reflecting their lives, often to the local music.
Classical dances are associated with Spirituality. Folk dance is associated with celebrating agricultural harvest or social gatherings like weddings etc.
Classical dance is more demanding and is usually strict with technical aspects. Folk dancing is funnier and free. Folk dance is based on local stories usually about relationships among people or about different seasons.
Classical dances are more about grace and composure Folk dances are all about energy, enthusiasm and power.
Classical dances are performed by professional or highly trained dancers who have studied their form for many years. Folk dances are not performed by professional dancers. It is a dance of common people.
There are eight classical Dances in India. They are Kathak from North India, Sattriya of Assam, Bharatnatyam of Tamil Nadu, Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, Kathakali and Mohiniaattam of Kerala, Manipuri of Northeast India, and Odissi of Odisha.  There are more than 30 folk dances in India. Some of the most popular folk dances are Ghoomer (Rajasthan), Kacchi Gori Chari (Rajasthan), Kalbelia (Rajasthan).

After learning about the Classical and Folk Dance difference, it is better to know the details of Classical Dance and Folk Dance thoroughly. Visit the below-given links to learn about Classical Dance and Folk Dance in detail along with other information.

These are the main differences between Classical and Folk Dance. The differences given in the above table can help the UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants to answer any related questions easily in the exams.

Difference between Classical and Folk Dance – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions about Classical and Folk Dances


What are the types of classical dance?

Six Classical Dances of India are as follows:

What are folk dances?

A folk dance is a dance developed by people that reflect the life of the people of a certain country or region. Not all ethnic dances are folk dances. For example, ritual dances or dances of ritual origin are not considered to be folk dances.

UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants should diligently study the NCERT Art, Literature, Architecture and Culture Notes, as it is an extremely important component of UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus.

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