The Traditional Dance Forms of India

India is a country with a diverse culture and history. What better element of the country than Indian dance genres to illustrate this? India's traditional dances come in a variety of styles. 


Indian Dance Forms' Origins

India's dance genres date back to the ancient Vedic period, when people used to sing and dance for pleasure and recreation. Performing arts are mentioned extensively in the Vedas. All of the oldest compilations of ancient dance traditions can be found in the Hindu literature Natya Shastra.


The Bharatanatyam dance is a South Indian dance form that dates back to 1000 BC. This is usually done to Carnatic music. Previously, the dance was primarily done in Hindu temples and other holy sites. Bharatanatyam was once a female-only solo dance form that portrayed religious concepts and spiritual topics. 

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In Kerala, this is the most stylized dance style (essentially a dance drama). Kathakali is a 17th-century dance genre in which the dancers dress up as characters in a story and use elaborate costumes, make-up, and face masks.


Kuchipudi is an Andhra Pradesh dancing genre. Kuchipudi, like other major classical Indian dances, has religious roots and evolved as a religious performance art. 


As the name implies, this dancing style originated in the Indian state of Manipur in the north-east. Manipuri is a group performance with a highly distinctive and special outfit called Kumil, which is a gorgeously ornamented barrel-shaped skirt.

So there you have it: India's famed traditional dances and a brief history of their origins.

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