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.
List of Folk Dances in India
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These dance forms have been originated from different parts of India as per the local tradition.
This article will highlight the various Indian dance forms- classical and folk in brief. The 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 questions on Classical Dances.
Dance Forms in India
The 2 major dance forms 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 forms.
The 8 basic technicalities that are expressed in the classical dance are given below:
- Shringar: Love
- Hasya: Humorous
- Karuna: Sorrow
- Raudra: Anger
- Veer: Heroism
- Bhayanak: Fear
- Bibhats: Disgust
- Adbhoot: Wonder
Indian Dances with States is an important static GK topic for the UPSC exam. For information on various static GK topics check the article linked here.
For more on Indian classical dances, click on the linked article.
The list of classical dances in India is given below:
|List of Classical dances in India||State of Origin|
Questions based on these classical Indian dance forms are common in the UPSC exam for the prelims phase.
Classical Dances of India – What do you need to know?
Bharatanatyam is based on performance and aesthetic ideas outlined in classics such as Bharata’s Natyashastra. It offers a large collection of songs in Telugu, Tamil, and Sanskrit. The topics include a wide variety of human and heavenly love, and are commonly classified as shringara (romantic love) and Bhakti (devotion). Bharatanatyam music is part of the Carnatic system of music from southern India.
Kathak is the main dance of northern India, and it is still extensively practised in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and even regions of western and eastern India. It is said to be related to the storytelling art of Kathakaras, or storytellers, who have for centuries taught the scriptures, the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, and puranic literature to the general people.
Kuchipudi, one of India’s primary dance genres, originated in Andhra Pradesh, where it evolved significantly as a result of the Bhakti movement that began in the 7th century AD. Nritta, Nritya, and Natya’s Kuchipudi is a dance-drama. The Nritta is made up of teermanams and jatis, the Nritya is made up of Sabdams, and the Natya is made up of acting with Mudras for the songs.
Odissi dance originated in Orissa, India’s easternmost state, where it was first performed as part of temple duty by’maharis,’ or female temple employees. The traditional dance was reshaped as a theatre art in the mid-twentieth century, drawing on not just existing dance art but also representations of dance in Orissa’s mediaeval sculpture, painting, and literature.
Kathakali, or’story play,’ emerged in the seventeenth century in Kerala, southern India, under the patronage of the prince of Karnataka, who created plays for performance based on the epic Ramayana in Malayalam, the local language. Most Kathakali plays, which have passed down to us in a constant stream over three centuries, are based on stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Sattriya dance refers to the body of dance and danced theatre produced in Assam’s sattras or monasteries during the sixteenth century, when the Vaishnava faith spread over the nation thanks to the saint and reformer Shankaradeva (1449-1586). It is a separate genre within classical Indian dance, with an advanced vocabulary of hand gesture (hasta), footwork (pada karma), movement and emotion (Nritta and Abhinaya), and a repertory based on Krishna devotion.
Manipuri dance emerged in Manipur in north-eastern India, and is rooted in the Vaishnava beliefs of the Meiteis, or Manipur valley people. Manipur’s dance is divided into two sections: jagoi and cholom, which match to the lasya and tandava parts mentioned in Sanskrit literature. These are distinct streams, and an artist can spend a lifetime honing any form within the spectrum.
Mohiniattam originated in Kerala in southern India, and is named after the mythical enchantress Mohini. It is dance of feminine grace, and has grown out of performances connected with Kerala’s temples. Mohiniattam employs rhythms unique to Kerala: the rhythmic syllables utilised are those of the Maddalam, a drum used to accompany female characters in Kathakali theatre. The Edakka is the main percussion instrument in the performance.
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|
|Chhattisgarh||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, 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|
|Uttar Pradesh||Nautanki, Raslila, Kajri, Jhora, Chappeli|
|Uttarakhand||Garhwali, Kumayuni, Kajari, Jhora, Raslila|
Art and culture is an essential part of the IAS syllabus and every year, questions are asked from this section in both the prelims and mains exams.
Multiple Choice Question
Consider the following Statements
- The classical dance originates from Natya Shastra. The 2 basic aspects of Classical dance are Lasya and Tandava.
- Folk dance is associated with celebrating agricultural harvest or social gatherings like weddings, etc.
- Classical dances are performed by professional or highly trained dancers who have studied their form for many years. There are eight classical Dances in India.
- There are more than 30 folk dances in India. Some of the most popular folk dances are Ghoomer, Kacchi Gori Chari, Kalbelia; all of them originating from the state of Rajasthan.
Choose the correct answer from the below-given options
- None of the above statements are false.
- None of the above statements are true.
- Only Statements 2 and 3 are true.
- Only Statements 3 and 1 are true.
Frequently Asked Questions on Indian Dance Forms
Q 1. Which is the oldest dance form in India?
Q 2. Which is the recently added dance form in the classical dance list of India?
Q 3. What is Karagattam?
Q 4. In how many categories Indian Dance Forms are classified?
Q 5. Which state dance is Yakshagana?
Q 6. Is Kathak and Kathakali the same form of dance?
Q 7. What is the difference between Kathak and Bharatanatyam?
Q 8. Kuchipudi dance form belongs to which state?
Q 9. What is the dance of Gujarat?
Q 10. What is the dance of Maharashtra?
|UPSC 2023||UPSC Books|
|UPSC Calendar 2023||UPSC Notes|
|Government Exams||Folk Music in India|