15 Most Famous Traditional Folk Dances of Indian States-I
Dances are considered as the integral parts of culture of any region. Among the many folk dances, some are native and have gained recognition only within the state whereas, some have gained popularity worldwide. Many of these dances are performed at the time of temple festivals and occasions. These forms of dances are unique in their way of presentation with wonderful expressions, which are performed by finest dancers.
The performers are adorned with attractive costumes and ornaments that add charm to the dance. Kerala has around 50 forms of dances. Travelogy India here provides you with some important information about the unique classical dance forms of Kerala. Kathakali Kathakali is an impressive form of classical dance originated more than years ago in the southern state of Kerala. Kathakali is a perfect combination of dance, drama, music and religious theme.
Kathakali has been acknowledged throughout the world for its uniqueness. This dance form is generally performed by men. This classical dance form is usually performed on the grounds of temple. Kathakali involves colorful costumes and detailed makeup.
The costume is very typical that includes a headgear, swirled skirt and junk ornaments. Being dressed typically, the artists play the mythological characters from the Hindu epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The artists through their elegant body movements depict a scene from mythological stories. A typical Kathakali Performance includes graceful movements of hands, legs and eyes. Props are also used in this dance, wherever necessary. A traditional drum, known as Chenda is played to accompany by one or two singers.
These singers describe the story in their song. Travelogy India recommends you to spend an evening watching a Kathakali performance in Kerala. Mohiniyattam A famous and sensual classical dance form of Kerala called Mohiniyattam involves graceful movements. Mohiniyattam is a blend of Bharatanatyam and Kathakali, as it uses the elements of these dances.
This dance is very elegant as it has gentle and graceful movements along with mesmerizing eye movements. Mohiniyattam has been recognized as one among the eight Indian classical dances by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. According to legends, Lord Vishnu in disguise of a Mohini enthralled people.
Mohiniyattam involves delicate footsteps, classical Carnatic vocal music, mesmerizing expressions and sober costumes in white and gold.
The dancer adorns her head by putting jasmine garland in a traditional way. Mohiniyattam is therefore, considered as an enchanting dance or the dance of enchantress. Thirvathirakali It is a popular group dance performed during the harvest festival of Kerala, Onam. Thiruvathirakali kerala dance.
Know About the Traditional Dances of Kerala
This culturally rooted dance form originated from the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu and was firstly performed in the Hindu temples to worship Lord Shiva. This form focuses on hand gestures, footwork and facial expressions. As this dance mainly involves female dancers, their attire resembles Tamil bridal dress. A beautiful sari is worn by them which has a sparkling golden border.
Along with this, jewellery is also worn by them which makes their look exquisite. This is mainly performed around a lamp during Ram Navami and Gokulashtami. This dance is performed to worship Goddess Amman. Kavadi Aattam Source It is a dance form performed by men. This dance involves carrying Kavadi burdens through the pilgrimage. There are various types of Kavadi, the most common being a pot of milk. Some men may even pierce their cheeks and tongue with vel skewers.
Some Kavadi are very elaborate and heavy. This dance form is performed in worship of Lord Murugan. Devaraattam Source This form of dance was presented to the Tamil kings and their army after their victorious return from the battle.
The dancers hold a handkerchief in their hand and swing it and also copy the steps done by the leading person. The person leading the line wears a counterfeit beard and mask. Presently, this dance form does not have any lyrical music or song, it is only danced on the beats of Urumi Melam, Thappu Melam and Flute. This dance is now performed during festivals and social occasions. During the dance, these Kols are struck together and rhythmic movements are done.
This dance is a combination of songs, music and rhythmic movements. It is believed that there was a demon named Basavasura who was uncontrolled because of his evil powers. Once, a group of girls decided to play Kolattam with this demon.
He was so pleased with the music and girls that he decided to give up all his evil. This is performed in a group during festivals and weddings. Kazhai Kothu This is similar to a modern-day circus, which includes gymnastics steps. People performing this travel from place to place and earn their living. They put gaudy makeup on their face and showcase their art.
This art of gymnastics was mastered by the Aryans. A blue coloured dress is worn by them along with peacock feathers and a beak. It is performed in the Hindu temples and offered to Lord Murugan. Ottan Koothu This dance form is presented by tribal people to depict ancient stories during festivals. An instrument named Urumi is played during the activity which is believed to have sacred and supernatural powers. Paampu Attam or Snake Dance This dance form is done by young girls wearing tight-fitted costumes resembling a snake.
They raise their hands on their head and perform similar movements as that done by snakes such as slithering, creeping and hissing. This dance form arises to save and protect snakes and accepting it as a divine creature. Poikkal Kuthirai Aattam or Artificial Horse Dance Source It is a dance form in which dancers wear a dummy horse which is hollow in between so that a person can fit in it.
This folk dance needs a lot of skills and practise. It is performed along with folk music to worship Goddess Amman. In this dance, the bodies of the dancers are painted by yellow and black paint to create a replica of Tiger.
The look is completed by joining a fake tail and ears. The stentorian sounds of drums along with several instruments try to create a complete picture. The performers make graceful tiger-like moves. Shattam Dance This form of dance is devoted to Lord Vishnu. Classical songs and graceful steps are its main features. Koothu Source It is a street party in which music and dance are performed by people during festivals and weddings.
It is conducted at a meeting point of three to four streets in an open ground. Usually, men take part in it and the roles of women are also done by them.
The function includes story-telling, singing, dancing, drama etc. Dress and makeup are special features. The function begins in the late evening and ends late in the night. These were some of the most popular folk dances of Tamil Nadu.
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Female dancers perform this dance and they wear some saris in Marathi style during this performance, and they start their dance with slow movement and increase their movement with some quick tempo. Parvi Nach, Maharashtra If you want to see some tribal dance of hilly regions, then you can visit the hilly regions of Maharashtra and here you can find the beautiful tribal dance form performed by Kokna tribal community.
This dance is performed with some instrumental music and all of this music originated by some handmade musical instruments. Parvi Nach is popular tribal and folk dance in India. Bhangra, Punjab This is a most popular folk dance in Punjab, and dancers wear some classical style Punjabi dresses during their performance.
Along with that, they also create some loud music through several instruments such as dhol, chimta and algoza. Earlier, people used to perform this dace during their harvesting seasons, but now people in Punjab conduct some dance shows in their every festival including their marriage ceremony.
This dance is also very popular among the teenagers and you can find some Bhangra dance shows in foreign countries like USA, UK and Canada. Apart from this folk dance in Punjab, you can find some other similar folk dances such as dhamaal, fulka, siakoti, mirzi, fumnian, jhummar and sammi. Giddha, Punjab This is a similar dance form of Bhangra, which is performed by female dancers in Punjab. This is an energetic dance form which is also known as ring dance and this dance is also similar to bolliyan dances.
On the other part, when male dancers perform the same dance, it is generally renamed as Malwai Giddha. Kikkli, Punjab Two girls hold their hand and twirl each other in a circular position and they also lift their feet from the floor and synchronize the dance between two dancers. This is a popular folk dance in Punjab and dancers this dace with their own groups.
Local folk songs and clapping are used during this dance performance. Chhau dance, Odisha Chhau is one of the most traditional and popular dance forms in India which is originated from Nilagiri region of Baleswar district.
This is an elegant dance form where two groups of dancers wear costumes imitating soldiers, and they attack each other with swords and shields. These dancers enhance the movement of their dance, with the accompaniment of some instrumental music, and a large group of musicians is involve with this dance.
Indian folk and tribal dances
The dancers usually try to accompany with the rhythm of Dhola, Mahuri, Dhumsa and Chanchadi. A boy who dresses up as a girl called as Goti Pua and this is an ancient Indian dance from which was performed by the students of the akhadas. Akadas means gymnasia and you find many akadas in Puri of Odisha where many people boys only practice some bodybuilding and wrestling.
According to the Vaishanava doctrines, men cannot perform any dance with women and if the act needed any female character then a men from the respective group can dress up as female dancer. Still now, you can find many schools in Puri where boys used to perform on this dance form from the age of six, and they can start their own dance schools as master in this dance after eight years of training.
14 Folk Dances in Tamil Nadu - A Cultural Extravaganza!
This dance is a popular folk dance where you can find some ornamental presentation of male body, and many musical instruments are associated with this dance form such as pakhawaj, geeni and harmonium.
Here the boys can sing during the dance performance or else they can also appoint a group of singers to provide the background music. Baagh Naach, Odisha This dance form is also known as tiger dance and it originated from Binka and Sonepur district of Odisha.
Some male dancers also perform this dance, and male dancers first paint their bare body with some black and yellow stripes and attach a false tail at their back portion.
Then they used to move from one house to another house of their village and gather the audience for their dance. Drummer and a bell player constantly provide background music during this dance performance and this is just like the acrobatic movements of male performers in rhythm.
They also use to make some hissing sounds during their performance and this dance is also performed during the Thakurani Jatra in Berhampur. Dalkhai, Odisha Odisha is a place of performing arts and you can find many folks and tribal dance forms in Odisha. Dusserah is one of the biggest Indian festivals and you can see this Dalkhai dance in Odisha during this festival.
Apart from that, this dance is also performed during other festivals too and you can see the same dance performance during Bhaijintia, Phagun Puni and Nuakhai.
This is a tribal dance, which is performed by many tribal communities like, Kuda, Mirdha, Balangir, Sundargarh, Naupada and Sama. Girls perform the dance and many types of musical instruments create some vibes behind the stage, and some of the musical instruments, which are associated with this dance forms, are Dhol, Nisan, Mahuri and Tamki and Tasa.
Here the dancers perform with the Dhol players on stage and the Dhol players also accompany with the female dancer accordingly. Dhap, Odisha Basically unmarried boys and girls from different villages participate in this dance performance and they conduct some couple dance. Dhap is a sambalpuri folk dance and you can see this dance performance in Kosal regions and the dance is performed by Kandha tribe. Dhap is a musical instrument, which is made with wood, and one side of this instrument is covered with some animal skin.
The dancers used to hold this dhap instrument in their left hand and perform with the rhythm. Earlier people used to perform on this dance form to encourage the soldiers. Dancers can easily perform some social act through this dance form, and they can also generate some social messages through their dances.
5 traditional folk dances of Tamilnadu
In this dance, you can find a special drum, which is made with some reptile skin, and this sounds very uncanny. The dance is basically performed during the Ghumra Puni festival of Odisha and dancers create some circle and do some slow circular movement at the beginning of the dance. The drum players use to stay in the centre of these circles, and they use to control the dancers with their rhythm. After few minutes, the singer comes to the scene and sings the Saraswati mantra, without any background music.
And then the dancers start their dancing on the beats of drums. An occasion started from Bhadra Shukla Ekadashi or the eleventh day of full moon and people used to dance on their folk music to remove their bad fortune, and this dance is performed for the god and goddess named Karam Devta and Karmasani Devi. This is a local folk dance in Odisha and it is also performed during different festivals in separate regions of the state. Keisabadi, Odisha This is a folk dance in Odisha which is performed by men only, and they used to hold some long sticks and striking these sticks according to their song and rhythms.
This song is mainly dedicated to the love of Tips to win toto and Krishna. Know more about our tours, please email us at [email protected] or Visit our Odisha And Chhattishgarh Tour.
Garadi, Puducherry This dance form has a mythological background and according to the Hindu epic Ramayana, when God Rama defeated Ravana, then the vanars or monkeys performed this dace as a symbol of victory.
The dance performed in every festival in Puducherry and dancers act like monkey during this dace performance. They hold some sticks and dance on the rhythm of drums. Through these rings they can create some melodious sound and along with this sound, the large size drums accompany the feet movements of the dancers.
Ghoomar, Rajasthan The female dancers perform this dance and they wear some long colorful skirt and Rajasthani dresses during their performance.
Men and women together sing some local folk songs as the background music, and dancers dance in a circle position. The performers on the folk music, beating their palm on the ground during the low tone of the music and they also do somebody inclination during at the end of their performance. You can also find this dance performance during your travel time, and if you request for this dance performance to your travel guide then they can also organize the same.
Kalbelia, Rajasthan This is one of the ancient tribal dance forms in Rajasthan, which is performed by the Kalbeliya community or Snake charmers. Dancers black long skirts along with some Rajasthani heavy ornaments and they also dance with some community groups.
You can get a chance to enjoy the live performance of Kalbelia with Rajasthan tour. Kachchhi Ghodi, Rajasthan This dance mainly originated from the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan and dancers wear some horse costumes during this performance.
Singers generally sing some folk tales with local music, and dancers perform on the beats of these songs. The dance movements signify liveliness and a welcome gesture during the marriage ceremonies. Parai Attam, Tamil Nadu This is one of the oldest traditional folk dances in Tamil Nadu, which is performed by trained dancers only. Through this dance performance, people used to deliver some social messages such as warning for upcoming wars, leave the battlefield, victory and save water body of Tamil Nadu.
This dance performance is conducted for several reasons such as for protecting animals; encouraging farmers to do the better harvesting and people perform this dance during several festivals including their marriage ceremonies, and social gatherings.
Apart from that, you can also find a popular folk dance in Tamil Nadu called as Kummi, which is performed during the festive season. Dancers perform this dance in a circle position and they clap their hands to make some rhythm during their performance.
The dance performed in two different ways such as Aatta Karagam and Sakthi Karagam. Dancers use to hold some decorated water pots on their head during the performance of Atta Karagam and this is purely dedicated to the goddess.
On the other part, Sakthi Karagam is performed inside the temple for the entertaining purpose. Earlier these dances were performed with the Naiyandi Melam and now these dances performed with several songs and music.
Some trained artists from different regions including Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Tirunelveli, and Pattukottai come to perform this dance during the annual festival of Tamil Nadu. Book Tamilnadu Temple Tour to experience the architectural beauty at its peak. Kolattam, Tamil Nadu The women dancers perform this dance and they hold some sticks in their hand and beat these sticks to make some rhythm. You can find some colorful laces, which have been used by the dancers, and they use deft dance movements skip over these laces with their planned dancing steps.
This dance is basically conducted for ten days starting from the Amavasi or new moon night after Diwali. Most of the dancers come from different villages and they also wear some colorful local dresses during their performance. Mayil Attam, Tamil Nadu This is also known as peacock dance and dancers used to wear some dresses decorated with peacock feathers and they used to cover their head with some glittering dress materials. You can find some other similar dance in Tamil Nadu such as Kaalai Attam which is performed by the local dancers and they used to wear some bull dress, and Karadi Attam, where dancers dressed as a bear.
Paampu Attam, Tamil Nadu This is also known as snake dance and rural people think that snake can protect their life from severe diseases, and local young girls mainly perform this dance and they used to wear some snake-like dresses. These dancers try to imitate the writing and creeping of snakes, and making some biting movements with their head and hands.
Oyilattam, Tamil Nadu This is a dance of grace and this traditional dance is mainly performed by the men in Tamil Nadu. Men used to stand in a row and perform this dance according to the rhythm, but due to huge popularity of these dance shows, now many women dancers also participate in these dance performances.
Dancers used to perform this dance with some colorful handkerchiefs and they used to wear some ankle bells also. The folk background music which is accompanied with this dance is called Thavil.
Puliyattam, Tamil Nadu Earlier people used to conduct some folk dances in Tamil Nadu, which was known as Puli Attam and this dance form was also known as a play of the tiger.
In this dance form, people used to act some tiger steps and their bodies are painted by yellow and black color, and this is symbolized the replica of a tiger only. There are various musical instruments performed with this dace such as tharai, thappattai and lots more, and this dance is mainly performed during the temple festival of Tamil Nadu. Poikal Kudirai Attam, Tamil Nadu This folk dance is known as false legs dance in Tamil Nadu where dancers wear some dresses and they act like a horse.
Apart from that, you can also find another interesting traditional dance form in Tamil Nadu which is known as Bommalattam. This is basically a poppet show which is conducted during the festivals of Tamil Nadu villages.
Through these poppet shows, people can generate some social messages and they can also conduct their shows on some Hindu epics and mythological stories. Theru Koothu, Tamil Nadu This dance basically conducted during the village festival and you can find the greatest Theru Kootu dance performances during Panguni and Aadi festivals. Only men can perform this dance and they wear some women dresses to play the roles of women.
Dancers do some heavy make-ups and they wear some traditional dresses as well as dramatic costumes. Through this dance performance, they do some storytelling, dialogue rendering and sing some background songs also. Most of the stories, which are performed through this dance forms are derived from Hindi epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. Hojagiri, Tripura This is one of the oldest traditional dance forms of the Reang community of Tripura. Men and women both participate in this dance performance and during this dance, they move their lower body, and clap their feet on the earth.
Along with that, dancers also hold some bottle lamps on their head during this performance, and they fine-tune their bodies to balance these bottles on their head throughout their dance performance. The colorful lamps and the ornaments and gorgeous dresses enrich this dance performance to some highest level, and you can find this dace on every occasion conducted by the respected community.
Through this dance performance, dancers basically imitate the love story of Radha and Krishna. According to ancient Hindu mythology, when Radha wanted to see the Mayur Nritya, Lord Krishna used to portray himself as the peacock and he danced in front of Radha. Charukala, Uttar Pradesh This is a traditional Indian folk dance, which mainly originated from Brij region of Uttar Pradesh and the local women perform the dance only.
Kathakali has been acknowledged throughout the world for its uniqueness. This dance form is generally performed by men. This classical dance form is usually performed on the grounds of temple.
Kathakali involves colorful costumes and detailed makeup. The costume is very typical that includes a headgear, swirled skirt and junk ornaments. Being dressed typically, the artists play the mythological characters from the Hindu epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The artists through their elegant body movements depict a scene from mythological stories. A typical Kathakali Performance includes graceful movements of hands, legs and eyes.
Props are also used in this dance, wherever necessary. A traditional drum, known as Chenda is played to accompany by one or two singers. These singers describe the story in their song.
Travelogy India recommends you to spend an evening watching a Kathakali performance in Kerala. Mohiniyattam A famous and sensual classical dance form of Kerala called Mohiniyattam involves graceful movements. Mohiniyattam is a blend of Bharatanatyam and Kathakali, as it uses the elements of these dances. This dance is very elegant as it has gentle and graceful movements along with mesmerizing eye movements.