Different Dance Forms of India!

Different Dance Forms

Dance in India is of varied type. It contains numerous styles of dance but mainly classical and folk. There are different Dance forms in India. They originate from different states of India. It is according to the local traditions and also imbibed elements from other parts of the country. Sangeet Natak Academi is the national academy of performing arts in India. It recognizes eight traditional dances as Indian Classical Dance, while other sources and scholars recognize more.

Dance Forms

Folk dances are numerous in number and style. So, They vary according to the local tradition of the respective state, ethnic or geographic regions. Contemporary dances include refined and experimental fusions of classical, folk and Western forms. Hence, Dancing traditions of India have not only influence over the dances in the whole of South Asia but also on the dancing forms of South East Asia as well.

Classical Dance
Classical Dance
Image Source: Classical Dance

A classical dance is one whose theory, training, means and rationale for expressive practice is documented and traceable to ancient classical texts particularly the Natya Shastra Classical Indian dances have historically involved a school or guru- shishya param para (teacher-disciple tradition) and require studies of the classical texts, physical exercises, and extensive training to systematically synchronize the dance repertoire with underlying play or composition, vocalists and the orchestra.

Folk Dance
Image Source: Kathakali

A folk Indian dance is one which is largely an oral tradition, whose traditions have been historically learned and mostly passed down from one generation to the next through word of mouth and casual joint practice. A semi-classical Indian dance is one that contains a classical imprint but has become a folk dance and lost its texts or schools. So, Both Semi-classical and Folk Dance are same. Folk Dance is just a new version of the dancing style. A tribal dance is a more local form of folk dance. It is typically found in one tribal population; typically tribal dances evolve into folk dances over a historic period.

Origin of Dance

The origins of dance in India go back to the ancient times. The Vedas integrate rituals with performance arts, such as a dramatic play, where not only praises to gods were recited or sung, but the dialogues were part of a dramatic representation and discussion of spiritual themes.The evidence of earliest dance related texts is in Natasutras, which are mentioned in the text of Panini, the sage who wrote the classic on Sanskrit Grammar, and who is dated to about 500 BCE. The eight Indian Classical Dance forms are Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kathak (North, West and Central India), Kathakali (Kerela), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Oddisi (Odisha), Manipuri (Manipur), Mohiniyattam (Kerela) and Sattriya (Assam).There are many folk dance and tribal dance also. So, India has various cultures and traditions and so is its dance forms.

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