List of Dance Forms in India - Folk & Classical Dances of All States

India is known for its rich cultural heritage. Diversification is the identity of the country. Indian dance is one of the most revered identities of our culture.

In India, dance forms can be broadly classified into 2 categories- classical and folk dance form.

These dance forms have been originated from different parts of India as per the local tradition.

This article will highlight the various Indian dance- classical and folk in brief. Various dance forms of India are an important aspect of art and culture syllabus for IAS exam.

In 2012, Civil Services IAS Prelims examination, UPSC has asked a question about Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam. In 2014, UPSC has asked about Sattriya dance. Let’s have a glance through the Previous Year UPSC question on Classical Dances.

Dance Forms in India

The 2 major dance form in India are classical and folk dance. The major difference between Classical and Folk dance is the origin.

Classical dance has a deep-rooted relationship with the Natya Shastra where the specific features of each of the Classical dance forms have been mentioned.

Folk dance, on the other hand, emerged from the local tradition of the respective state, ethnic or geographic regions.

Classical Dance in India

The classical dance form originated from the Natya Shastra. There are 8 classical dance forms in India as per the source and scholar.

The Cultural Ministry of India has included Chhau into the list of classical dances that makes a total of 9 classical dance form.

The 8 basic technicalities that are expressed in the classical dance are given below:

  1. Shringar: Love
  2. Hasya: Humorous
  3. Karuna: Sorrow
  4. Raudra: Anger
  5. Veer: Heroism
  6. Bhayanak: Fear
  7. Bibhats: Disgust
  8. Adbhoot: Wonder

Indian Dances with States is an important static GK topic for UPSC exam. For information on various static GK topics check the article linked here.

The list of classical dances in India is given below:

List of Classical dances in India  State of Origin
Bharatnatyam Tamil Nadu
Kathak Uttar Pradesh
Kuchipudi Andhra Pradesh
Odissi Odisha
Kathakali Kerala
Sattriya Assam
Manipuri Manipur
Mohiniyattam Kerala
Chhau Odisha

Folk Dances in India

Folk dances in India represent the culture and tradition of the community from where it originated.

Folk dances are usually performed during the respective community’s celebration- childbirth, festivals, weddings, etc.

There are different types of Folk dances in India.

The list of Folk Dances in India is given below:

State of Origin List of Folk Dances in India
Andhra Pradesh Vilasini Natyam, Bhamakalpam, Veeranatyam, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Dhimsa, Kolattam.
Arunachal Pradesh Buiya, Chalo, Wancho, Pasi Kongki, Ponung, Popir
Assam Bihu, Bichhua, Natpuja, Maharas, Kaligopal, Bagurumba, Naga dance, Khel Gopal.
Bihar Jata-Jatin, Bakho-Bakhain, Panwariya
Chattisgarh Gaur Maria, Panthi, Raut Nacha, Pandwani, Vedamati, Kapalik
Gujarat Garba, Dandiya Raas, Tippani Juriun, Bhavai
Goa Tarangamel, Koli, Dekhni, Fugdi, Shigmo, Ghode, Modni, Samayi nrutya, Jagar, Ranmale
Haryana Jhumar, Phag, Daph, Dhamal, Loor, Gugga, Khor.
Himachal Pradesh Jhora, Jhali, Chharhi, Dhaman, Chhapeli, Mahasu
Jammu & Kashmir Rauf, Hikat, Mandjas, Kud Dandi Nach
Jharkhand Alkap, Karma Munda, Agni, Jhumar, Janani Jhumar, Mardana Jhumar, Paika, Phagua
Karnataka Yakshagana, Huttari, Suggi, Kunitha, Karga
Kerala Ottam Thullal, Kaikottikali
Maharashtra Lavani, Nakata, Koli, Lezim, Gafa, Dahikala Dasavtar.
Madhya Pradesh Jawara, Matki, Aada, Khada Nach, Phulpati, Grida Dance, Selalarki, Selabhadoni
Manipur Dol Cholam, Thang Ta, Lai Haraoba, Pung Cholom
Meghalaya Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Nongkrem, Laho
Mizoram Cheraw Dance, Khuallam, Chailam, Sawlakin, Chawnglaizawn, Zangtalam
Nagaland Rangma, Bamboo Dance, Zeliang, Nsuirolians, Gethinglim
Odisha Savari, Ghumara, Painka, Munari
Punjab Bhangra, Giddha, Daff, Dhaman, Bhand
Rajasthan Ghumar, Chakri, Ganagor, Jhulan Leela, Jhuma, Suisini, Ghapal
Sikkim Chu Faat, Sikmari, Singhi Chaam or the Snow Lion, Yak Chaam, Denzong Gnenha, Tashi Yangku
Tamil Nadu Kumi, Kolattam, Kavadi
Tripura Hojagiri
Uttar Pradesh Nautanki, Raslila, Kajri, Jhora, Chappeli
Uttarakhand Garhwali, Kumayuni, Kajari, Jhora, Raslila

List of Folk Dances in India:- Download PDF Here

Art and culture is an essential part of the syllabus and every year, questions are asked from this section in both the prelims and mains exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the oldest dance form in India?

Bharatnatyam is the oldest dance form in India

Which is the recently added dance form in classical dance list of India?

The Cultural Ministry of India has included Chhau into the list of classical dances that makes a total of 9 classical dance form.

What is Karagattam?

Karagattam is an ancient folk dance of Tamil Nadu which is performed while worshipping the Goddess of rain.

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