Tradition of Folk Dances
in India - Famous Folk Dance from West India & North India
India's rich cultural
diversity is evident from its beautiful tradition of Folk art. Folk
dances of India are highly riveted and are extremely popular throughout
the length and breadth of the country. This is because these dances
rank high in simplicity while maintaining their superiority in expressions
and concept. It is believed that folk dances of India are easier
to understand, follow and even perform when compared with the traditional,
Dance Forms of India.
Dances - An Expression of Celebration If
we were to visit the numerous tiny villages of India, we would be
amazed to find that folk dances are performed on almost every occasion
- such as child birth, festivals, weddings, etc. Folk dances add
to the jubilation and provide an expression for happiness and hope.
Music is another important element that adds additional flavour
to these dances.
with Roots - Coming Together Folk
dances provide a common ground for people to come together and connect
with one another. Celebrating their lives and culture together provides
a unique opportunity to keep their traditions alive. While
performing folk dances, the dancers dress up in their traditional
costumes and beautiful, elaborate jewellery. The air is one of happiness,
rejuvenation, togetherness and excitement.
take a look at some traditional folk dances of India -
Folk Dances of West India -
- Garba Dance, Gujrat -
The Garba dance is extremely well known and is performed by
women in Gujrat, especially during the Navratras. The women dance
in circles while holding earthen pots on their heads. They clap
their hands and click their fingers. A burning oil lamp placed
within the pot signifies embryonic life.
- Jawar Dance, Madhya Pradesh
- This harvest
dance is a favourite of the farmers, especially in Madhya
Pradesh's Bundelkhand region. After reaping a good harvest,
farmers rejoice by performing this dance. The women are
known to carry baskets of jawar on their heads while dancing
to the tune of several musical instruments, percussion
instruments & stringed
Dance, Madhya Pradesh -
The Bhils tribe of MP
perform this lyrical dance, mainly during the
festival of Holi.
- Dandiya Dance, Gujrat
- Men and
women perform the dandiya dance together. The most distinguishing
feature of this dance is that dancers hold sticks in their
hands and while beating these sticks on their own and with
other dancers on either sides, they move round in circles.
During the dance, dancers take various positions such as
standing, sitting etc. Dandiya raas becomes extremely colourful
when the dancers dress up in multi colored outfits.
- Mando Dance, Goa
the various folk dances of Goa such as Jagar, Dekhni and
Suvari, etc, the Mando is quite well known. Known as a semi-urban
folk dance, the Mando is performed at a speed that progresses
2. Folk Dances of
North India -
- Rouf Dance, Jammu
& Kashmir - The
Rouf is Kashmir's springtime dance. While performing the Rouf,
the performers split themselves in two groups and stand in their
respective rows, while facing one another. During the dance, the
performers bond with their fellow dancers by placing their arms
around their shoulders on both sides. Next, the two row of dancers
move in the backward as well as forward direction.
- Dumhal Dance, Kashmir -
The Dumhal is well known dance form which is performed in Kashmir,
primarily by the men of the Wattal tribe. Musical instruments
such as the drum add music to the dance. What is fascinating to
note is that the dance performers walk together as part of a procesion
wearing long robes and conical caps with a banner in their hands.
Once the banner is dug into the ground, the men begin dancing
in a circle.
- Bhangra Dance, Punjab -
The Bhangra is a vivacious, robust and extremely popular dance
of Punjab which is performed during the festival of Baisakhi.
This dance form is quite vigorous in nature and is performed primarily
by men. The beats of the drums and the dholak add vibrancy to
this dance. While doing the Bhangra, a signature step is to raise
the leg and raise both hands up in the air.
- Mali Dance, Rajasthan -
The Mali dance is native to the state of Rajasthan & is performed
by women on the occasion of marriage while welcoming & receiving
the bridegroom's party. The dexterity with which the women balance
burning brass pots on their heads while jumping & squatting
is truly fascinating.
- Tera Tali Dance, Rajasthan -
Tera Tali is a Rajasthani folk dance which is performed by female
dancers. During the dance performance, the music and voice is
provided by the male singers. While balancing beautifully decorated
pots on their heads, the dancers hold a sword between their teeth
and strike a variety of different poses. They also play cymbals
using their hands. The beauty of the dance is further increased
when the women cover their faces with thin veils.
- Gidda Dance, Punjab - Just
as the Bhangra is Punjab's most important male dance, the Gidda
is performed by female dancers. It is a graceful & energetic
dance, a form of ring dancing. During the course of the dance,
the women break into semi circles and the dance is accompanied
by "boliyan" or folk couplets.
- Raas, Himachal Pradesh - In
the Kulu district of HP, the raas is quite popular. It depicts
love stories of human beings and is performed during the festival
of Dussehra. Raas is also a dance of Gujrat.
- Ghoomar Dance, Rajasthan - Lively,
energetic and highly enjoyable, the Ghoomar dance derives its
name from its basic form that is "Ghoomna" or twirling
in circles. Performed by men and women together, the Ghoomar
dance is known for its measured movements. The veiled women wear
beautiful and colorful "ghagaras" or skirts which add
a new dimension to the dance.
Dances of South & East India