Bharatanatyam – Tamil Nadu:
One of the oldest dance forms of India, Bharatanatyam is considered to be the mother of all dance forms. The dance originated from the temple dancers of Tamil Nadu and enthrals audiences with the profound exhibits of expressions and rhythm.
Kathakali – Kerala:
Dating back to the 17th century, Kathakali is Kerala’s baby. The striking feature of the dance form is the elaborate make-up, head gear and loud costumes. Once the dance drama unfolds by the dressed up dancers, you will be lost in the colourful world of this stage performance.
Kuchipudi – Andhra Pradesh:
Acquiring its name from the Andhra village of Kuchipudi, this traditional dance form has its roots in the NatyaShastra, the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text. The dance form is typically accompanied by the flute, violin and tambura. Every dancer has to be introduced, their role described and has to perform a short preliminary dance before the actual performance begins.
Mohiniyattam – Kerala:
A semi classical dance form, the Mohiniyattam also belongs to Kerala. The dance is performed by women as the word ‘Mohini’ refers to a maiden who steals the heart of her audience. The attire worn is traditionally of an off-white colour and the hair is styled into a side knot.
Yakshagana – Karnataka:
Originated from the Malenadu region of Karnataka, Yakshagana is a theatrical dance form. The dance packages heavy make-up, elaborate costume, foot tapping music, snazzy dialogues into the form for a complete all-round entertainment.
Kathak – Uttar Pradesh:
Belonging to Uttar Pradesh, this dance form was derived from kathas or stories. A story is narrated through dance form in the Kathak performances.
Manipuri – Manipur:
Originating from the north-east state of Manipur, Manipuri is a major dance form of India. The dance costume has a unique stiff skirt that goes down till the feet. Manipuri dance depicts the Raslila act of Radha and Krishna and sets up the audience for a spiritual experience.
Odissi – Odisha:
Performed mainly in temples, Odissi is among the oldest surviving forms of dance. It originates from Orissa and is popular for its style and the independent movements of the head, chest and pelvis.
Sattriya – Assam:
Introduced as early as the 15th century, Sattriya is a major Indian classical dance form. The dance drama originated in the Krishna centred Vaishnavism monasteries of Assam and presents an aesthetic and religious act combining ballad, dance and drama.
Gaudiya Nritya – West Bengal:
Recognised as Indian classical dance by the SangeetNatak Academy, the GaudiyaNritya is a Bengali dance form showcasing drama, poetry, history and spiritual expression.