Essay On The Dances Of India

Dance is a series of movements and steps that march the speed and rhythm of much. Dance is a part of the rich cultural heritage of India. Its theme is derived from mythology, legends, classical literature, everyday life and nature.

A brief intro to classical dances of India.

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There are two main forms of dances 0 classical and folk. The origin of classical dances are the Hindu temples, Some famous classical dances of India are Bharat Natyam, Kathakali, Manipuri, Kathak and Odissi. The rules and principles of classical dances were laid in the Natyashstra by BharatMuni, ages ago. Folk dance is a traditional dance of the common people of a reign. No rigid rules are followed in folk dances. The Sangeed Natak Akademi and other institutes promote both classical and folk dances.

Dance is a series of movements and steps that match the speed and rhythm of music. It is an art. It is accompanied by gestures and expressions which explain the theme contained in the music. One can dance and classical dance. They are not simply the movement of legs and arms, but the whole body.


Most of the classical dances were first conceived and nurtured in the temples. They attained their full stature there. Classical dance forms are based on ancient dance discipline. They have rigid rules of presentation.

Indian classical dances follow the principles and rules laid down by Bharat Muni in his many ages ago. There are 180 styles of Indian dances and 101 of these are described in the Natyashastra. Most of these dance styles are depicted on the walls and pillars of the famous Indian temples. Music. dance and drama have been an integral part of Indian religious and secular life.

Of the classical dances of India, five are famous all over the world. These are Bharat Natyam, Kathakali, Manipuri, Kathak and Odissi. Other prominent dances are Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh and Mohiniattam of Kerala. The concept of rasa holds the central place in dance. While dancing, rasa is conveyed through bhava and abhinaya.

Bharat Natyam has derived its roots from Tamil Nadu. It has developed into an all India form. this dance is associated with Lord Shiva. Kathakali is a dance form of Kerala. The theme for the dance is drawn either from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Puranas or the Vedas. The language of the eyes plays a vital role in this style of Indian dance. Manipuri is a delicate, lyrical style of dance of Manipur. It is based on the romance of the divine Krishna and Radha. Kathak is a major classical dance form of North India. This form of dance is revitalized as a result of Mughal influence on Indian culture. Odissi, a dance form of Orissa was once practiced as a temple dance. Only ‘Devdasis’ could perform this dance in front of Lord Jagannath. Today, is has developed into an all Indian form.


Folk dance is a traditional dance of the common people of a region. Each state has its own folk and tribal dances. Indian folk dances have relatively greater free play, expression of feelings, emotions and sentiments than classical forms. The folk people are born dancers. The theme is connected with the performer’s life, daily activities and the environment. The theme is also derived from nature in its various moods and season. Folk dances imbibe new influences and at the same time maintain tradition and continuity. Folk dances are also religious.

Both classical and folk dances owe their present popularity to institutions like Sangeet Natak Akademi and other training institutes and cultural organizations. The Sangget Natak Akademi gives financial assistance to cultural institutes. It also awards fellowships to scholars, performers and teachers. This is to promote advanced study and training in different forms of dance and music.

Some western dance forms are also in vogue in India. The young generation has their bent of mind towards these forms. For young people dance is only a bodily expression of joy and happiness. For this fashion, many late night clubs. dance bars and pubs have been opened in cities. However, such dance form cannot claim to be a part of Indian Art or Culture. They do not have the classical touch. Not much training goes into these dances. Bodily movement alone cannot to be considered dance. Dance is a highly developed art which needs immense discipline and years of training. We should consider dance as an art and a part of our culture heritage.

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