India has a rich tradition of classical dances which has been infused into different cultures today. Dance in India comprises numerous styles, generally classified as classical or folk. As with other aspects of Indian culture, different forms of dances originated in different parts of the country. These gyrations are developed according to the local traditions with imbibed elements from other parts of the country.
In a series of videos below, Ibiene curates the pulse of Indian dance scenes, be it on the streets, in the temple and on the stage.
As an ancient classical dance, Bharatanatyam traces its roots to the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu, in south-eastern India. Traditionally performed as a solo by women, the centuries-old dance form heavily emphasizes expressive gestures and religious storytelling. Through this move, the dancers speak with their body. Today, Bharatanatyam enjoys international status as one of the iconic performing arts of India.
The Sufi Kathak dance emerged in northern India in 400 BCE, and is another major form of Indian classical dance. Traditionally attributed to the traveling bards of northern India, the dance form evolved to suit the tastes of the royalty.
The Bhangra dance is an energetic folk dance of celebration that originates from Punjab. Bhangra has a rich history as one of India’s most joyous art forms. It originally emerged as a way to honour the harvest season and, today, you will often see iterations of it at weddings in India.
Hip-hop street-style dancing was developed in the United States in the early 1970s, but has since become a widely popular genre globally and India is no exception. These days dancers are fusing hip-hop aesthetic with Indian moves.
It is almost impossible to discuss contemporary dance in India without mentioning the massive song-and-dance productions of Bollywood. The choreography and dance routines in Hindi films drawn upon classical Indian dance, but also mix in global trends. Bollywood dance has actually become a whole blend of international, Indian, contemporary modern, folk – all kind of forms mixed together.
Overall, dance is a beautiful thing. It not only introduces you and helps you appreciate other cultures, you also burn some calories, get your heart thumping and live healthier.
What beautiful dance displays have you come across? Please share with us in the comment section.