List of the Most Important Classical Dances of India
Indian Classical Dance is one of the most comprehensive and oldest dance forms in the world.
India has a very rich culture of dance and music, Traditional, classical, folk and Tribal dances style. These Incredible traditional dances of India are originated during the ancient times and considered the mother art of classical dances. The Classical Dances of India includes Bharatanatyam, the oldest form of the classical dance in the country and one of the Most Popular Classical Dance in India.
Indian classical dance forms can be traced back to 400 BC, to the times of Natya Sastra of Bharata Muni. In fact, Bharata’s Natya Sastra, considered to be the Bible of Indian aestheticians, is the most important source for establishing the characteristics of the dances. At present, some of the popular classical dances of India are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam and Odissi. These dances have, no doubt, brought about a sensation in the western countries as well. Today, each of the popular Indian classical dances has an identity of its own and crossing all the boundaries, is recognized globally.
Here are six of the most famous classical dance forms of India
The Sattriya Dance of Assam is living tradition of state and one of the eight major classical Indian dance traditions. Sattriya classical dance form is well appreciated and practiced outside the state as well as outside of Indian mainland.
Manipuri is the classical dance from the Manipur region in the North East. Very much religious and associated to Vaishnav cult of Hinduism, the art form primarily depicts episodes from the life of Lord Vishnu. Manipuri dance style is multifaceted and ranges from the softest feminine to the vigorous masculine.
Odissi is the oldest surviving dance form in India,originates from state of Orissa. The Odissi dance form is known for its style, the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis. Beautiful Odissi Dance is traditional and ancient style of dance performed in the temples.
A dance of northern India, Kathak is often a dance of love. It is performed by both men and women. The movements include intricate footwork accented by bells worn around the ankles and stylized gestures adapted from normal body language. It was originated by Kathakas, professional storytellers who used a mixture of dance, song, and drama. Like other Indian dances it began as a temple dance, but soon moved into the courts of ruling houses.
Kuchipudi was introduced as a dance drama, but its present day dispensation tells a different story altogether. It has now been reduced only to dance form, with the drama missing completely. With proficient training and knowledge, the Kuchipudi dancers have started presenting the dance form in their individualistic ways, today.
Bharatanatyam is a dance of Tamil Nadu in southern India. It traces its origins back to the Natyashastra, an ancient treatise on theatre written by the mythic priest Bharata. Originally a temple dance for women, bharatanatyam often is used to express Hindu religious stories and devotions. It was not commonly seen on the public stage until the 20th century. The dance movements are characterized by bent legs, while feet keep rhythm. Hands may be used in a series of mudras, or symbolic hand gestures, to tell a story.