Indian states and their folk dances: Know about the classical folk dances of India

Safalta Expert Published by: Saloni Bhatia Updated Tue, 26 Apr 2022 05:22 PM IST


Find the complete list of Indian states and their dance forms. Folk dances of India are an important aspect from Exam's point of view. Classical and folk dance are the two most popular dance forms in India.

The cultural variety of India is well-known. Indian dancing forms are one of our culture's most prized identities. The oldest mention of dance and its forms may be found in the Natyashastra literature from the first century BC. Even before the historical eras, the most basic creatures of the Indian Subcontinent—the inhabitants of Upper Paleolithic times—are represented in cave paintings enjoying different dances. For example, the Bimbeteka and Lakhundyar Cave Paintings. There are two types of modern dance styles in India: classical and folk dance forms. These dancing traditions, according to local legend, arose in diverse parts of India. You must also read the Most Important List of Lists for Government Exams
This article will provide a general introduction to the many Indian dance styles, as well as the states where they originated, both classical and folk. India's dance traditions are an important element of the IAS exam's art and culture syllabus.

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In the Civil Services IAS Prelims test in 2012, UPSC offered a question about Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam. In 2014, the UPSC inquired about the Sattriya dance. Let's look at some Classical Dances questions from past UPSC examinations.
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India's Dance Forms

Classical and folk dance are the two most popular dance forms in India. The origin is the most significant distinction between Classical and Folk dancing. The Natya Shastra, in which the distinctive elements of each of the Classical dance forms are outlined, has a long history with classical dance. Folk dance, on the other hand, arose from the state's, ethnic, or geographic region's local tradition.

India's Classical Dance

The Natya Shastra is the source of classical dance. According to the source and researcher, India has eight traditional dance genres. The Indian Cultural Ministry has added Chhau to the list of classical dances, bringing the total number of classical dance forms to nine.

The following are the eight basic technicalities expressed in classical dance:

  • Shringar: Love
  • Hasya: Humorous
  • Karuna: Sorrow
  • Raudra: Anger
  • Veer: Heroism
  • Bhayanak: Fear
  • Bibhats: Disgust
  • Adbhoot: Wonder
The UPSC exam includes a static GK topic called Indian Dances with States.

The list of classical dances in India is given below: 

List of Classical dances in India 

State of Origin

Bharatnatyam Tamil Nadu
Kathak Uttar Pradesh
Kuchipudi Andhra Pradesh
Odissi Odisha
Kathakali Kerala
Sattriya Assam
Manipuri Manipur
Mohiniyattam Kerala

India's Folk Dances

In India, folk dances showcase the culture and traditions of the group from which they came.
Folk dances are typically performed at communal celebrations such as births, festivals, and weddings.
In India, there are many different types of folk dances.

The following is a list of Indian folk dances:

State of Origin

List of Folk Dances in India

Andhra Pradesh Vilasini Natyam, Bhamakalpam, Veeranatyam, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Dhimsa, Kolattam.
Arunachal Pradesh Buiya, Chalo, Wancho, Pasi Kongki, Ponung, Popir
Assam Bihu, Bichhua, Natpuja, Maharas, Kaligopal, Bagurumba, Naga dance, Khel Gopal.
Bihar Jata-Jatin, Bakho-Bakhain, Panwariya
Chhattisgarh Gaur Maria, Panthi, Raut Nacha, Pandwani, Vedamati, Kapalik
Gujarat Garba, Dandiya Raas, Tippani Juriun, Bhavai
Goa Tarangamel, Koli, Dekhni, Fugdi, Shigmo, Ghode, Modni, Samayi nrutya, Jagar, Ranmale
Haryana Jhumar, Phag, Daph, Dhamal, Loor, Gugga, Khor.
Himachal Pradesh Jhora, Jhali, Chharhi, Dhaman, Chhapeli, Mahasu
Jammu & Kashmir Rauf, Hikat, Mandjas, Kud Dandi Nach
Jharkhand Alkap, Karma Munda, Agni, Jhumar, Janani Jhumar, Mardana Jhumar, Paika, Phagua
Karnataka Yakshagana, Huttari, Suggi, Kunitha, Karga
Kerala Ottam Thullal, Kaikottikali
Maharashtra Lavani, Nakata, Koli, Lezim, Gafa, Dahikala Dasavtar
Madhya Pradesh Jawara, Matki, Aada, Khada Nach, Phulpati, Grida Dance, Selalarki, Selabhadoni
Manipur Dol Cholam, Thang Ta, Lai Haraoba, Pung Cholom
Meghalaya Ka Shad Suk Mynsiem, Nongkrem, Laho
Mizoram Cheraw Dance, Khuallam, Chailam, Sawlakin, Chawnglaizawn, Zangtalam
Nagaland Rangma, Bamboo Dance, Zeliang, Nsuirolians, Gethinglim
Odisha Savari, Ghumara, Painka, Munari
Punjab Bhangra, Giddha, Daff, Dhaman, Bhand
Rajasthan Ghumar, Chakri, Ganagor, Jhulan Leela, Jhuma, Suisini, Ghapal
Sikkim Chu Faat, Sikmari, Singhi Chaam or the Snow Lion, Yak Chaam, Denzong Gnenha, Tashi Yangku
Tamil Nadu Kumi, Kolattam, Kavadi
Tripura Hojagiri
Uttar Pradesh Nautanki, Raslila, Kajri, Jhora, Chappeli
Uttarakhand Garhwali, Kumayuni, Kajari, Jhora, Raslila

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We hope our complete list of Indian states and their dance forms turned out to be a useful resource for your exam preparation. Art and culture are important aspects of the syllabus, and questions from this section are asked in both the prelims and mains exams every year.

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Which is the oldest dance of India?

Based on archaeological findings, Odissi is believed to be the oldest of the surviving Indian classical dances.

What is the national dance of India?

Bharatanatyam is the national dance of India.

What is the history of Indian dance?

Dances performed in India are considered to have originated in the Vedic period, circa 1000 B.C., including dances and ceremonies. Creation is described in the earliest Indian religious scriptures as a dance.

Is Subli a folk dance?

The Sublî is a devotional traditional dance of the Philippines' Tagalog ethnolinguistic group.

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