India is known for its cultural diversities. The lifestyle of the people in different parts of India is different and so are their arts and crafts. Dance is no exception to this as different types of dance forms are popular in different lands in India. One of the strong forms of expression, dance keeps you spell bound. Words become meaningless when the art form is in its full flow displaying nine types of expressions such as love, happiness, anxiety, anger and surprise. Let us see the top 5 dance forms that have been practiced in India for ages.

kuchipudi dance

1) Bharatnatyam

This classical dance originates from Tamilnadu and enjoys the status of being one among the oldest classical dances in India. It is famously known as an art of temple dances. The dance is performed to classical music. The term Bharatnatyam means a blend of expression, music and rhythm. You can find amazing yoga postures in this form of dance with its exceptional range of postures and movements. Bharatnatyam postures can be seen in ancient temples. Now, Bharatnatyam is popular all over the world. The costume for Bharatnatyam dancers is heavy and beautifully designed.

2) Kathak

Kathak has its roots in Uttar Pradesh. It was derived from Kathaks, popularly known as storytellers. The word Kathak refers to story telling. Feet Mudras gain prominence in Kathak more than Hand Mudras. You could see the influence of temple dances and central Asian dance forms in Kathak. The similarity with miniature paintings of the Mughal era can be seen in Kathak dancers’ costumes.

3) Kathakali

Kathakali originates from Kerala. This classical Indian dance is famous for elaborate costumes, heavy makeup and expressive gestures and movements. The body movements are derived from Kerala’s ancient martial art form called Kalaripayattu. You will find a great deal of oral communication in this art form. The dancers paint their faces vividly and wear elaborate costumes. Stories from the epics namely Ramayana and Mahabharata are enacted by Kathakali performers.

4) Odissi

The dance form originates from Orissa and it is one of the oldest classical dance forms of India. This dance form is referred to as Odra-Magadhi by Natya Shastra. Belonging to the first century, this art form was suppressed during British rule and it was revived after independence. The dance form is unique owing to its style exhibited in the independent movements of head, chest and the pelvis. The Odissi costume consists of Ghagra, blouse and a veil.

5) Manipuri

Manipuri dance is primarily a religious art form and it originates from Manipur. Until 20th century, temples were the only places where this dance was performed. Stage performances were performed only since 20th century. Feet work plays the most important role in Manipuri dance. The dance form is highly delicate and you could find a number of circular movements in this art form. It is amazing to note that these movements are performed without jerks. The costume for the dance is Patoli, Kumin and veil.

Indian culture has various other famous dance forms that have been practiced for centuries and each form is unique and reflects the traditions and beliefs of the land. Mohiniyattam, Kutchipudi, Garba, Bhangra, and Sattriya are some of the famous dance forms of India.

About the Author:

Rohit, the author of this article appreciates art in all forms. He is also the co-founder of a coupon website in India; which provides latest coupons of most of the online stores like Yebhi coupons, Zovi coupons etc. He likes to write about art, architecture and other creative topics.

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