List Of Folk Dances of India: India is a land of the most diverse cultures and traditions in the world. India has a vast range of Dance forms whether it is folk or classical dance. There is one dance in almost every state for the time of harvest.
Folk dances are a way for people to express their emotions and reflect the mood of society. These dances have evolved over time and contribute to the richness and uniqueness of Indian culture. Here is the List of various State and folk dances which will help you in various exams like UPSC, State PSC, SSC, Bank Exams, etc.
Table of Contents
Folk Dances of States in India: Highlights
|Topic||Folk Dances of India|
|Important For||All Competitive Exams|
|Covered||All States & Union Territories Of India|
|Total number of classical dances in India||8|
State-wise Folk Dances of India
|State of Origin||List of Folk Dances in India|
|Andhra Pradesh||Vilasini Natyam, Veeranatyam, Dhimsa Dance, Lambadi Dance, Kolannalu or kolkolannalu, Burra Katha, Butta bommalu, Bhama Kalapam, Tholu bommalata, Tappeta Gullu|
|Arunachal Pradesh||Lion And Peacock Dance, Pasi Kongki Dance, Popir Dance, Bardo Chham, Aji Lamu, Chalo Dance, Hiiri Khaniing Dance, Ponung Dance, Buiya Dance, Wancho Dance|
|Assam||Bihu, Bichhua, Natpuja, Maharas, Kaligopal, Bagurumba, Naga dance, Khel Gopal|
|Bihar||Fagua Dance, Jhumri Dance, Jat-Jatin Dance, Jhijhian Dance, Domkach Dance, Kajari Dance, Sohar Dance|
|Chhattisgarh||Gaur Maria, Panthi, Raut Nacha, Pandwani, Vedamati, Kapalik|
|Gujarat||Garba, Dandiya Raas, Tippani Juriun, Bhavai|
|Goa||Tarangamel, Koli, Ghode, Modni, Samayi nrutya, Jagar, Ranmale, Dhalo Dance, Kunbi Dance, Lamp Dance, Fugdi Dance, Shigmo Dance, Dekhni Dance, Morulem|
|Haryana||Khor, Jhumar Dance, Gugga Dance, Daph Dance, Loor Dance, Dhamal Dance, Phag Dance|
|Himachal Pradesh||Jhora, Jhali, Chharhi, Dhaman, Chhapeli, Mahasu|
|Jammu & Kashmir||Hikat, Mandjas, Kud Dance, Dumhal Dance, Rouf Dance, Bachha Nagma, Hafiza Dance, Bhand Pather, Wuegi-Nachun|
|Jharkhand||Alkap, Karma Munda, Agni, Jhumar, Janani Jhumar, Mardana Jhumar, Paika, Phagua|
|Karnataka||Yakshagana, Kunitha Dances, Gaarudi Gombe, Nagamandala Dance, Komb-aat, Bolak-aat, Ummatt-aat, Peeli-aat, Kamsale Dance, Veeragase, Pili Yesa|
|Kerala||Thidambu Nritham, Padayani, Perini Sivatandavam, Thiruvathirakali or Kaikottikali, Theyyam, Ottan Thullal, Duffmuttu, Margamkali|
|Maharashtra||Nakata, Lezim, Gafa, Dahikala Dasavtar, Dhangari Gaja, Koli Dance, Povadas Dance, Lavani Dance, Pavri Nach, Dindi Dance|
|Madhya Pradesh||Jawara, Matki, Aada, Khada Nach, Phulpati, Grida Dance, Selalarki, Selabhadoni|
|Manipur||Nupa Pala, Dhol Cholom, Maibi Dance, Pung cholom, Thang ta Dance, Khamba Thoibi Dance|
|Meghalaya||Nongkrem, Shad Suk Mynsiem, Behdienkhlam, Lahoo dance, Dorsegata Dance|
|Mizoram||Khuallam, Cheraw Dance, Sarlamkai/Solakia, Chailam, Chawnglaizawn, Chheihlam, Zangtalam, Sawlakia Dance, Par Lam Dance, Bizu Dance, Lebang Boomani Dance, Garia Dance|
|Nagaland||Rengma, Udoho, Zeliang dance, Chang Lo, Changsang, Kukuyipheto, Melo Phita, Angushu Kighilhe, Rukhyo-Sharu, Langnyu-Khiamtsangshe, Akok-Khi, Khupielili|
|Odisha||Savari, Ghumara, Painka, Munari|
|Punjab||Bhangra Dance, Giddha Dance, Sammi Dance, Kikli Dance, Jaago dance, Luddi dance|
|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||Kazhi Attam or Kolattam, Kavadi Aattam, Oyilattam Dance, Karagattam/ Karakattam, Chakkai Attam, Kamandi / Kaman Pandigai, Kai Silambu Attam, Parai Attam, Puliyattam, Poikkaal Kuthirai Aattam, Villu Paatu, Shattam dance, Oyil Kummi, Mayil Attam, Poikkal attam, Nongkrem|
|Tripura||Hodaigri (Hojagiri) Dance, Hai Hak Dance, Jhum Dance, Galamuchamo Dance, Sangrai Dance, Gajan Dance|
|Uttar Pradesh||Nautanki, Raslila, Kaj|
|West Bengal||Raibenshe, Dhunachi, Baul Dance, Gambhira dance, Jhumair, Domni Dance, Alkap|
Folk Dances of North India
Bhangra is a popular dance form in Punjab. “Bhangra” is frequently thought of as a martial art, it is also claimed that farmers invented it to commemorate the harvest.
Without a Bhangra performance, no celebration in Punjab and surrounding territories is complete. It is generally performed during Baisakhi only by the men in Punjab.
Charkula dance form is popular in the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh. It’s a tough act of balance where a veiled woman dancer performs with 108 oil lamps on her head placed on a wooden pyramid platform.
The Kumaon area of the state of Uttarakhand is home to the “Chholiya” dance style. In wedding processions, it is customary to perform them. Men dancing with swords can be seen doing so with vigor, which is why “Chholiya” is frequently referred to as “sword dance.”
Dhamal Dance is performed in the month of Phalgun and is an expression of the deeper emotions of the people. It is said that the people perform this dance whenever their crops are ready for harvesting.
This dance form is very popular among the people of Mahendragarh, Jhajjar, and the Ahirs of Gurgaon. The origins of the dance may be traced back to the Mahabharata.
Dumhal is a dance performed in Jammu and Kashmir of India by the Watal tribe. Only the men folk of the wattal are privileged to perform this dance, on specific occasions and at set locations.
The dance form of Giddha originated in West Punjab. This dance form is derived from the ancient style of ring dancing which creatively displays feminine grace, elegance, and flexibility.
The dancers perform in groups while holding hands and circling one another. They move at a pace that corresponds to the tempo of the music being played. Typically, everything starts out slowly and gains speed as the women acquire momentum.
The state of Uttarakhand is known for its particular dance style. This dance style, which is more of a narration, is practiced during maize and paddy cultivation in the state.
While a singer weaves heroic tales of combat into his song, dancers bring the tales to life with the aid of their movements.
This dance style is popular in Uttar Pradesh. Mayur Nritya, also known as peacock dance, is done by dancers who dress in a manner that makes them look like peacocks. It is carried out as a kind of adoration for Lord Krishna.
It is actually a Natya (Drama) belonging to the region of Braj in which the stories of Lord Krishna and his consort, Radha, are enacted.
Folk Dances of Central India
The indigenous people of Madhya Pradesh carry out this ritual. Despite being a part of a special holiday that permits young people to elope, the dance has its own agricultural importance, marking the end of the harvest season.
This dance is connected to the Chhattisgarh state’s indigenous tribes. Men dress in bright headpieces and crowns with peacock feathers for this dance.
Women who have been adorned with tattoos, brass fillets, and beaded necklaces also participate in the gathering.
Grida dance is performed in the state of Madhya Pradesh during winter when the rabi crop is ready to be harvested.
The dance marks the success of farmers which is celebrated among the villagers in a grand manner.
It is related to the Madhya Pradesh state. Along with quick foot movements, the dance also requires challenging acts of balance.
The women balance themselves while carrying a basket of harvested produce above their heads.
The Balochistan and Multan regions of Pakistan are where this dancing style first appeared. Jhumar is more rhythmic and slower.
“Jhumar,” a performance that is frequently done by men, heralds the start of the harvest season and celebrates people’s joy.
Tribes from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, and other parts of India do karma dance. The dance is related to the Karma festival, which takes place in the month of August, and is connected to the fertility cult.
By resting their arms on the next dancer’s waist, the dancers create a circle and move in a rhythmic manner.
Among the Bastar’s Abhujmarias, the Kaksar dance is well-liked. It is carried out in the anticipation of a bumper crop. Young boys and girls conduct Kaksar to request the deity’s blessings.
The Kaksar dance allows its dancers to select their life mates from the same dancing troupe, which is an intriguing fact about the dance.
The indigenous people of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district are linked to this dance. A prayer to the tribe’s phallic deity commonly opens the ceremony.
The Hulki and Karsana dances are also performed by the Muria people. Karsana is seen as a pastime, whereas Hulki dance is thought to be the most alluring of all dancing styles.
This style of dance is distinctive to the Chhattisgarh state’s Bastar area. Sticks are used by the dancers in the unusual Saila dance to create rhythm.
Rarely are the dancers seen in a circle, each supporting themselves by grasping the dancer in front of them as they stand on one leg. Then they all hop about in unison.
Tribes in the state of Chhattisgarh carry it out. This unusual dance, sometimes known as the “parrot dance,” causes ladies to behave like parrots!
Men can play any musical instrument of their choosing, but women and girls are typically the only ones who perform it.
The Chhattisgarh Kamar tribe performs it. Women are the only ones who can dance, and they begin by crouching.
Throughout the ritual, the performers play an instrument called a “Manjira” that is connected to every part of their body, usually their legs.
Folk Dances of East India
The small community of Sherdukpens, who reside in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng District, performs it. The Sherdukpen tribe has the view that every month an evil power manifests itself to corrupt human nature.
Because of this, they dance together while wearing the masks of various animals to ward off those evil forces.
The “Brita” or “Vrita” dance is one of West Bengal’s most well-known dances. After recovering from an infectious illness often smallpox the dance is typically performed to thank the local deity.
Although it has roots in West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Odisha, this dancing style is very well-known elsewhere. This dance is known as “Chhau,” which means “mask,” because masks are a key component of it. While dancing, the performers hold swords and shields in their hands
In some areas of Odisha, this dance is well-liked. Young women begin the dance, and subsequently, males playing drums and other instruments join in.
It’s interesting to note that throughout the play, the guys refer to the women as their girlfriends.
In some regions of Odisha, it is conducted. The performers in the “Gotipua” dance genre are unusual since they are clothed as ladies.
The lads take the dancing form seriously, so seriously that they don’t cut their hair to make themselves look more feminine.
Folk Dances of North East India
The Bodo tribe in Assam is the main group that performs it. The dance, which is typically done by ladies, is accompanied by flutes and drums.
The bagurumba dance has a long history and is thought to be influenced by the natural world.
It is an Assamese folk dance. Cymbals are used by performers, who dance in groups of six or seven people while using them. Dancers create the distinctive beat “7hiya Nom” and do quick footwork.
The most alluring aspect of the Assamese people’s Bihu festival is this dance form. Beginning with the start of the harvest season, Bihu is observed for about 30 days.
The Chang tribe of Nagaland performs this dance. Dancers dress like warriors and demonstrate war strategies through dance, as the custom calls for the dance to be done to commemorate an enemy’s defeat on the battlefield.
The Mizoram state of India hosts the performance. Women dance between the males, avoiding having their legs caught between the men’s horizontally and vertically held bamboo staves. When the bamboo staves are moved quickly, the beats are created.
The state of Tripura is where this dance is performed. Women and young girls balance earthen lamps and bottles on their heads while moving their lower bodies to prevent the lamps or bottles from falling. Men participate in the performance by singing and playing instruments.
In the states of Assam, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha, this dance is done. Young females execute the dance, and men handle the musical accompaniment.
The dancers synchronized sway back and forth while wrapping their arms around the waist of the dancer next to them.
The “Nongkram” dance, which is performed by the Jaintia Hill residents of Meghalaya, is a vibrant occasion. The dance style is a method to honor the local deity.
Folk Dances of South India
It is carried out in the Andhra Pradesh state. The “Kolannalu” features a group of dancers forming two circles. It is also known as the “stick dance.” Dancers in the outer circle give the blow while those in the inner circle take it on their sticks.
Tamil Nadu and Kerala are home to the well-liked folk dance “Kummi.” There are only female singing and clapping movements in this dancing style because it evolved before musical instruments were invented.
It is an old Tamil Nadu folk dance. The karagattam ritual is carried out while honoring the rain goddess. Dancers move to the music of musicians while carrying large pots on their heads.
It is carried out at the temples of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. This dance is comparable to the Uttar Pradeshi “Mayur Nritya.”
Young women perform to the music’s beats while decked out in peacock costumes. The dancers frequently mimic peacock movements.
The play is presented in Tamil Nadu. In this region of the country, snakes are revered as deities, hence this dance is performed while snake worship is being practiced. Young girls behave like snakes while wearing clothing that resembles snake skin.
It is conducted in Kerala’s centre region. Due to the importance of color in the dance, Padayani is not only well-liked but also attractive to the eye. Massive masks worn by the dancers frequently depict deities.
In Tamil Nadu, it is a distinctive style of dancing. Men folk dance to the beat they create while playing a percussion instrument called a “Parai.”
The dance is one of the earliest dance traditions in India and was traditionally performed for a variety of purposes.
Poikal Kudirai Attam
Poikal Kudirai Attam translates as “horse with artificial legs” in Tamil. The dancers are made to appear as though they are mounting a two-legged horse. One of Tamil Nadu’s most well-known folk dances is this one.
It is practiced in Kerala’s Malabar region. Theyyam, also known as “Kaliyattam,” is a traditional dance performed to honor Goddess Kali. The dancers add to the overall effect by painting their faces in vivid colors.
Folk Dances of South West India
The state of Karnataka is where it is performed. A popular drumming dance is called Dollu Kunitha. Men wear large drums around their necks. The melodies that are used in this dance frequently have a combative and religious zeal.
It’s a Goan dance that’s done in the Konkan. This dance style, which is performed by ladies, is revived at Hindu festivals.
The dancers move around in various arrangements, such as circles or rows, while singing and dancing. The dance starts out gently and picks up speed with time.
It is carried out in Goa and the surrounding regions. Ghodemodni is also known as the “warrior dance” since the dancers are armed with swords and wear armor.
Since the village where the dance style began was once taken by a king, the dance depicts a war.
One of the islands of Lakshadweep is where this art form is practiced. The men who live on the island are the ones that perform it. The dance is based on rhythmic motions and folk tunes.
One of the well-known dances of Karnataka is Veeragase, which is performed in Mysore during Dasara celebrations.
This hard dance style, which is solely performed by men, includes maneuvers that drain your vitality.
Folk Dances of West India
This dance stages a mock fight between the Goddess Durga and Mahishasura. The sticks (dandiyas) of the dance represent the swords of Durga.
Gujarat is the place where this dancing style first appeared. Traditionally, Garba is practiced throughout the nine-day Hindu festival of Navaratri.
Around a lamp is where the dance is performed. The lamp is frequently replaced by a sculpture or image of the goddess “Shakti.”
Maharashtra hosts performances of Koli. The dance incorporates aspects of fishing and the sea because it is performed by fishermen.
This fascinating dance style, which is entertaining to watch, is performed by both men and women.
Gujarat is where this folk dance is done. The Padhar dance, which is performed by fishermen who live along the Nal Sarovar’s banks, simulates fishing and boat rowing.
In the Saurashtra area of Maharashtra, this dance is only performed at weddings and festivals. Music is produced using the shehnai and percussion instruments such as the manjira, tabla, and dhol.