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Indian Classical Dance

Indian Classical Dance

India has a very rich as well as a very diverse culture spreading from J&K in north to Kanyakumari in South. Classical dance forms use the same 'mudras' as expression. These were originally performed in the temples to entertain various deities in the ancient time. These types of dances carry different mythological stories from one generation to an another.  They have certain rules and regulations and performed with proper costumes to entertain the audience. 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 and classical dances.

Classical Dance Key Features:-

  1. Rules and regulations: There are strict rules and regulations along with movement & gestures also known as mudras in performing classical dance. 
  2.  Costumes: There are pre-defined unique costume, jewellery and stance required for these dances.
  3.  Age old traditions: They have a long cultural lineage age old tradition, with and follow guru- shishya parampara.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Features:  These dances are based on three features; nritta (pada sanchalan), nritya (anga sanchalan) and natya (abhinay).

Bharatnatyam

  1. Most Polpular:- Bharatnatyam is considered as one of the most popular classical Indian dances. It is almost 2000 years old as per the records.
  2. Natya Shastra :- It is normal belief that Bhartanatyam was first revealed by Brahma (Lord) to Indian then Bharat who then codified this sacred dance in a Sanskrit text called the Natya Shastra
  3. Southern states:- The popularity of Bharatnatyam is more in South Indian states like Karnataka & Tamil Nadu.

Kathak

  1. The art of storytelling :- Kathak is derived from ‘katha’ which basically means "the art of storytelling". This dance form originated in Northern parts of India and is considered as a very important classical dance.
  2. Similar to Bhratanatyam :-This Dance form is very similar to Bhratanatyam form of dance.
  3. During ancient time in India, there were people who used to tell stories, recite mythological tales along with these type of dance forms and music.

Kathakali

  1. Story Play:- Kathakali  basically means ‘story play’.
  2. Kerala:- Kathakali is the classical dance form of Kerala.
  3. Heavy makeup and costumes:- Kathakali is known for its heavy, elaborate makeup and costumes. Very colorful and fascinating costumes are being used in this dance form now a days.
  4. Imagination and creativity.:-  This dance form  is considered as one of the most magnificent theatres of imagination and creativity.
  5. Themes from epics:- This dance form presents themes which are derived from various epics like Ramayana, the Mahabharata  and other legends.

Kuchipudi

  1. Kuchipudi  has been derived from Kuchipudi village of Andhra Pradesh, who were experts in staging dance and drama.
  2. South India: This dance form is one of the classical dance forms of the South India.
  3. Scenes from epics:- This dance form presents scenes which are derived from various epics like Ramayana, the Mahabharata  and other legends along with music, dance and drama.
  4. Use of speech:- Kuchipudi comprises pure dance, mime and histrionics like any other dance,  however, the use of speech distinguishes Kuchipudi dance form other classical dance forms across the country.

Manipuri

  1. Manipuri dance is indigenous to Manipur, the North eastern state of India.
  2. Life of Manipuri people:- The Manipuri dance style is inextricably woven into the life pattern of Manipuri people.
  3. Colorful decoration:- The most unique characteristic of Manipur dance is its colorful decoration, dancing foot with colors, abhinaya (drama), lilting music and poetic charm.
  4. Culture of Manipur:- This form of dance basically use rituals from the culture of Manipur state.

Mohiniattam

  1. Dance of beautiful women :- Mohiniattam  is derived from ‘Mohini’ and ‘attam’ which means dance of beautiful women. Therefore, Mohiniattam is a beautiful feminine style with flow of very beautiful body movements.
  2. Kerala:- This dance form has been developed in Kerala.

Odissi

  1. Orissa:- Odissi is one of the famous classical Indian dances from Orissa state.
  2. 2000 years old:- The history of Odissi dance is almost two thousand years old.
  3. Sensuous dance form:- Odissi is a highly inspired, passionate, ecstatic and sensuous form of dance.
  4. Devadasi tradition:- Like most of the South Indian classical dances of India Odissi too had its origin in the Devadasi tradition. The state of Orissa has a great cultural history.

Classical Dances in India State-wise: 

Classical Dance

State in which performed

Bharatanatyam

Tamil Nadu

Bihu

Assam

Bhangra

Punjab

Chhau

Bihar, Orissa, W. Bengal and Jharkhand

Garhwali

Uttaranchal

Garba

Gujarat

Hattari

Karnataka

Kathak

North India

Kathakali

Kerala

Kutchipudi

Andhra Pradesh

Khantumm

Mizoram

Karma

Madhya Pradesh

Laho

Meghalaya

Mohiniattam

Kerala

Mando

Goa

Manipuri

Manipur

Nati

Himachal Pradesh

Nat-Natin

Bihar

Odissi

Orissa

Rauf

Jammu &Kashmir

Yakshagan

Karnataka


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. Folk Dances of India
  2. List of Religions in India
  3. Folk Paintings of India
  4. Festivals of India List
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