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Folk Dances of India

folk-dances-of-india

Folk Dances of India

India has a very rich as well as a very diverse culture spreading from J&K in north to Kanyakumari in South. Folk and tribal dances are very simple form of dances which are performed in normal functions to express joy like harvesting season, family get together, wedding and other festivals. There are lots of questions being asked from the Indian Folk dances every year in exams like UPSC, State PSCs, SSC and other Government exams. Here we are providing key features, state-wise folk dances and difference between folk an classical dances.

Folk Dance Key Features:-

  1. No rules and regulations: There are no rules and regulations in performing folk dance. These are free style dances.
  2. No costumes: There are no pre-defined costumes or movements required for these folk dances.
  3. Deeply routed with traditions: These folk dances are deeply routed with local traditions and cultures.
  4. No training required:-As there are no rules and regulation for these folk dances, therefore, there is no training required for these type of dances.
  5. Local Funtions:- Folk dances are performed during local gatherings and function like harvesting season, family get together, wedding and other festivals.
  6. Local Languages: Rhythm and songs which are used during folk dances are also of local languages.
  7. Performed for fun: These type of dances are basically performed for fun.

Folk Dances in India State-wise

State

Folk Dances

Andhra Pradesh

Kuchipudi, Vilasini Natyam, Andhra Natyam, Bhamakalpam, Veeranatyam, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Dhimsa, Kolattam, Butta Bommalu.

Assam

Bihu, Bichhua, Natpuja, Maharas, Kaligopal, Bagurumba, Naga dance, Khel Gopal, Tabal Chongli, Canoe, Jhumura Hobjanai

Bihar

Jata-Jatin, Bakho-Bakhain, Panwariya, Sama Chakwa, Bidesia.

Gujarat

Garba, Dandiya Ras, Tippani Juriun, Bhavai.

Haryana

Jhumar, Phag, Daph, Dhamal, Loor, Gugga, Khor, Gagor.

Himachal Pradesh

Jhora, Jhali, Chharhi, Dhaman, Chhapeli, Mahasu, Nati, Dangi.

Jammu and Kashmir

Rauf, Hikat, Mandjas, Kud Dandi Nach, Damali.

Karnataka

Yakshagan, Huttari, Suggi, Kunitha, Karga, Lambi.

Kerala

Kathakali (Classical), Ottam Thulal, Mohiniattam, Kaikottikali.

Maharashtra

Lavani, Nakata, Koli, Lezim, Gafa, Dahikala Dasavtar or Bohada.

Odisha

Odissi (Classical), Savari, Ghumara, Painka, Munari, Chhau.

West Bengal

Kathi, Gambhira, Dhali, Jatra, Baul, Marasia, Mahal, Keertan.

Punjab

Bhangra, Giddha, Daff, Dhaman, Bhand, Naqual.

Rajasthan

Ghumar, Chakri, Ganagor, Jhulan Leela, Jhuma, Suisini, Ghapal, Kalbeliya.

Tamil Nadu

Bharatanatyam, Kumi, Kolattam, Kavadi.

Uttar Pradesh

Nautanki, Raslila, Kajri, Jhora, Chappeli, Jaita.

Uttarakhand

Garhwali, Kumayuni, Kajari, Jhora, Raslila, Chappeli.

Goa

Tarangamel, Koli, Dekhni, Fugdi, Shigmo, Ghode, Modni, Samayi nrutya, Jagar, Ranmale, Gonph, Tonnya mell.

Madhya Pradesh

Jawara, Matki, Aada, Khada Nach, Phulpati, Grida Dance, Selalarki, Selabhadoni, Maanch.

Chhattisgarh

Gaur Maria, Panthi, Raut Nacha, Pandwani, Vedamati, Kapalik, Bharthari Charit, Chandaini.

Jharkhand

Alkap, Karma Munda, Agni, Jhumar, Janani Jhumar, Mardana Jhumar, Paika, Phagua,Hunta Dance, Mundari Dance, Sarhul, Barao, Jhitka, Danga, Domkach, Ghora Naach.

Arunachal Pradesh

Buiya, Chalo, Wancho, Pasi Kongki, Ponung, Popir, Bardo Chham.

Manipur

Dol Cholam, Thang Ta, Lai Haraoba, Pung Cholom, Khamba Thaibi, Nupa Dance, Raslila, Khubak Ishei, Lhou Sha.

Meghalaya

Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Nongkrem, Laho.

Mizoram

Cheraw Dance, Khuallam, Chailam, Sawlakin, Chawnglaizawn, Zangtalam, Par Lam, Sarlamkai/Solakia, Tlanglam.

Nagaland

Rangma, Bamboo Dance, Zeliang, Nsuirolians, Gethinglim, Temangnetin, Hetaleulee.

Tripura

Hojagiri.

Sikkim

Chu Faat Dance, Sikmari, Singhi Chaam or the Snow Lion Dance, Yak Chaam, Denzong Gnenha, Tashi Yangku Dance, Khukuri Naach, Chutkey Naach, Maruni Dance.

Lakshadweep

Lava, Kolkali, Parichakali.


Folk dance Vrs Classical Dance

Folk Dance

Classical Dance

No rules and regulations: There are no rules and regulations in performing folk dance. These are free style dances.

Rules and regulations: There are strict rules and regulations along with movement & gestures also known as mudras in performing classical dance. 

No costumes: There are no pre-defined costumes or movements required for these folk dances.

Costumes: There are pre-defined unique costume, jewellery and stance required for these dances.

Deeply routed with traditions: These folk dances are deeply routed with local traditions and cultures.

Age old traditions: They have a long cultural lineage age old tradition, with and follow guru- shishya parampara.

No training required:-As there are no rules and regulation for these folk dances, therefore, there is no training required for these type of dances.

Training required:-As there are strict rules and regulation for these dances, therefore, there lot of training and skills is required to master these type of dances.

Local Funtions:- Folk dances are performed during local gatherings and function like harvesting season, family get together, wedding and other festivals. Rhythm and songs which are used during folk dances are also of local languages.

Performed for Audience: These type of dances are basically performed for audience which  evokes a lot of emotions. These dances shows some mythologies or devotional plots.


Performed for fun: These type of dances are basically performed for fun.

These dances are based on three features; nritta (pada sanchalan), nritya (anga sanchalan) and natya (abhinay).

Not recognized from Sangeet Natak Academy

Sangeet natak academy : These type of dances should be recognised by the Sangeet natak academy. The academy approves whether a particular dance should be included as a classical dance or not.


Here you can get other information related to Art and Culture of India which would be very helpful for various Government Exams like UPSC, State PSCs, SSC, etc.

  1. Indian Classical Dance
  2. List of Religions in India
  3. Folk Paintings of India
  4. Festivals of India List
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