The beautiful land of diversity – India is home to various languages, beautiful cultures, costumes, food or lifestyle. In fact, natural dimension of this land is so different that one can explore here everything, ranging from serene hill stations to pulsating sand dunes of a desert and from charming beaches to breathtaking lush green plains. Each of the Indian states comes up with unique culture and many of them have a specific type of dance form to perform. There are 8 different classical dance forms in India, which has got recognition through Sangeet Natak Akademi. These dances describe about a beautiful phrase of life and around each posture of these dance forms has a special meaning. Read the article to know about the popular classical dances of India.
Bharatanatyam is another popular classical dance form of India. Originated in Indian state of Tamil Nadu, this classical dance form is the mother of all other Indian classical dances. Bharatnatyam is the combination of four words, including ‘Bhava’ means expression, ‘Raga’ means music, ‘Tala’ means rhythm and ‘Natya’ means dance. One among the oldest of Indian classical dances, this is the revised form of the dance from the traditional sadir. This dance is identified for its grace, tenderness, facial expressions and sculptural poses. In the background of classical music, this dance form is motivated from the sculptures of old Chidambaram temples. Currently, Bharatnatyam is largely performed in all over the world.
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Kathak is one of the most popular classical dance forms of India, which finds its origin into the nomadic bards of primeval Northern India. They were the storytellers and popularly called as Kathaks. Kathak word is derived from the word ‘Katha’, which means story. These performers used to tell mythological story to the people with unusual gestures and brilliant facial expressions. At present, this dance form of Northern India still carries with influence of Bhakti movement. Certain exclusivity of Central Asia can be witnessed in this dance form.
Kathakali dance was originated in the 17th century in the Indian state of Kerala. It is an exclusive type of Indian classical dance cum drama, which is known for its truly communicative moves. The dance is mostly noted for the striking composition of characters, attractive make-up, and weird & elaborate costumes and unusual gestures. The dance form enjoys eye-catching body movements produced in a specific line with fantastic background music adding extra allure. Over the years, the dance has seen improvements and movements became smooth with better music & songs. This dance form is truly amazing.
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Kuchipudi is another Indian classical dance form of South India. Originated in Andhra Pradesh, the performance of this dance usually starts with some stage rituals followed by characters coming on the stage for the performance. Performers introduce themselves among the viewers with a small work of dance. After that, the final dance starts with pleasant background music. This Indian classical dance form has some features similar to Bharatnatyam.
Originated from the north-eastern state of Manipur, Manipuri is one of the popular Indian Classical Dances. Manipuri dance is entirely devout and the purpose of this dance to provide a spiritual experience to the viewers instead of entertainment. In this dance form, dancers don’t wear anklets or ankle bells. Dancers’ feet don’t stroke hard on grounds but their body movement and delicate facial expressions make the viewers indulge into utter grace and devotion. This is the softest and most meaningful dance forms of the world that includes several wonderful Hindu epics.
Mohiniyattam is also among the Indian Classic Dance forms. It is another classical dance to be originated in Kerala state of India. The dance form is popular due to being performed with a drama in dance accompanying delicate gestures and foot strokes. Mohiniyattam is derived from two words - ‘Mohini’ that means a fascinating woman and ‘aattam’ that means gracious and aesthetic body movements.
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Odissi is one of the oldest existing classical dance forms of India, which originated in the Indian state of Odisha. This dance form was suppressed during the British rule in India but again got revival post independence. The dance form is mainly noted for the independent movements of body parts, including head, chest and pelvis while performing. The tradition of Odissi dance stayed alive in three schools, which were Mahari, Nartaki and Gotipua. By the efforts of several artists, this dance form got recognition of Indian Classical Dance.
Sattriya is the latest entry in the list of Indian Classical Dance forms. The dance form originated in Assam state. Sattras are the Vaishnav monasteries of the state. The purpose of these monasteries is to bring peace in state through religion, performance of dance-dramas, music, paintings and united prayer. The dance forms performed called here are called Sattriya dance, which has all the traits of a classical dance form.