10 Most Famous Folk Dances of India
India is well-known for its rich and diverse culture. Different regions of India have their own folk dances which are performed during religious or harvest festivals or even on occasions calling for celebration such a wedding or birth of a child etc. Folk dances are simple dances with simple steps and movements to express joy and happiness. Specific costumes are worn for the various folk dances which are generally flamboyant and worn with extensive jewelry.
Here are some of the most popular folk dances performed across the different Indian states:
Dumhal dance being performed by Kashmiri artists in Delhi
Dumhal & Rouff – Jammu and Kashmir
Dumhal is a folk dance performed by the men of the Wattal tribe of the beautiful Kashmir valley on specific occasions. The performers wearing long colorful robes, tall conical caps studded with beads and shells, move in a procession carrying a banner which is dug into the ground and then the men begin to dance in a circle around it.
Rouff is another folk dance of Kashmir which is performed solely by women on festive occasions. It is characterized by simple footwork on catchy folk songs.
Raunak Trinjana Di @ Tor Punjaban Di Giddha Competition 2012
Bhangra & Giddha – Punjab
Bhangra is one of the most popular folk dances from the state of Punjab. It refers to the traditional dance originating in the Majha area of Punjab. Bhangra is performed with classic Punjabi dresses (lungi, kurta and pagdi) and with musical instruments like Dhol, Chimta, Algoza etc. It is famous for the energy and enthusiasm of the dancers on foot-tapping folk songs. Any celebration or festive occasion in Punjab is incomplete without Bhangra.
Giddah is the female folk dance which is performed along with singing traditional couplets called boliyan.
2007 Edmonton Garba Girls 1st place winners
Garba & Dandiya – Gujarat
The traditional Garba and Dandiya Raas from Gujarat state are performed during the festival of Navratri. Traditional garbas are performed around a centrally lit lamp or a picture or statue of the Goddess Shakti as an object of veneration. Garba is performed by women and involves circular patterns of movement with rhythmic clapping. Dandiya Raas is an energetic and vibrant dance which is performed using small, polished sticks.
kalbeiya dance by Maya Devi & Rajput Maharani
Ghoomar & Kalbeliya – Rajasthan
Ghoomar is the traditional folk dance from the royal state Rajasthan which is performed by the of the Bhil tribes and now is popular among other Rajasthani communities. It is performed by veiled women who wear colourful ghagras. Ghoomar was ranked fourth in 'Top 10 local dances around the world' in the year 2013.
Kalbeliya dance is one of the most sensuous dance forms performed by the Kalbeliya community of Rajasthan who are basically snake charmers. Hence the dance pattern also resembles the swaying movements of snakes. Both men and women participate in the Kalbeliya dance to celebrate festive occasions.
Kumol Kumol | Zubeen Garg | Utpal Das | Sushmita Baruah | Bihu Song 2015
Bihu – Assam
Bihu dance from Assam is performed by both men and women during the Bihu festival. Brisk and graceful dance steps with hand movements make this an absolute delight to watch. Musical instruments like Dhol(Drum), Pepa(Horn), Gagana (an instrument made of bamboo) are used in this dance. Dancers wear traditional colorful Assamese clothes in red and mustard colors.
Lavni Queen; Minal Yadav Best of Best Performance
Lavani – Maharashtra
Lavani is a folk dance from Maharashtra which is a combination of song and dance on the beats of dholki. The word Lavani is derived from 'Lavanya' which means beauty. Female dancers wearing traditional nine-yard long sarees perform this sensuous and erotic folk dance. It is characterized by songs sung on quick tempo. The songs in Lavani are generally erotic and sensuous in nature. It is performed as a form of entertainment for the audience.
Folk art Pulikali Tiger dance
Pulikali – Kerala
Pulikali or Tiger dance is one of the most popular folk dances in Kerala during Onam festival in Thrissur. It is a colorful recreational folk dance form which is performed by male dancers who are dressed like tigers to entertain people on the occasion of Onam, the annual harvest festival in Kerala. It is mainly practiced in Thrissur district of Kerala.
Karagattam tamil folk dance
Karakattam – Tamil Nadu
Karakattam is an ancient Tamil folk dance, performed by balancing beautifully decorated water pot on the head. This dance is performed in praise of the rain goddess "Mari Amman". This dance can be performed individually or in pairs, by both the men and the women. Drums and long pipes are used in this dance that add energy and vigor to the dance. It is mainly performed to entertain the audience.
Balancing art of Matka dance in India!
Matki Dance – Madhya Pradesh
Matki Dance from Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh is an important dance form which is performed usually on weddings, birthdays or special occasions. This dance is mostly performed solo by ladies and involves balancing an earthern pot on the head. The ladies are dressed in lehengas or sarees and adorn many ornaments. Dhol is the main musical instrument used in this dance.
Mass bamboo dance at Reiek, Mizoram
Cheraw Dance - Mizoram
Cheraw Dance which is popularly known as Bamboo dance from Mizoram is a folk dance that requires a lot of skill. Four people hold two pairs of long bamboos across one another on the ground. As the bamboo sticks are clapped together, the dancers in traditional tibal attires weave patterns through them in time to the rhythm. This dance requires precision and concentration to the rhythm. This famous dance of Mizoram is the centre of attraction during festive occasions. The costumes worn by the female performers during the Cheraw dance Dance include Thihna, Vakiria, Kawrchei and Puanchei which come in vibrant colours.
© 2016 Shaloo Walia