Indian Culture

Indian Classical and Folk Dances

India is a place where you will find rich cultures and heritage everywhere. Even the dance forms of India has so much rich heritage. There are different classical and folk dances in India that differ from state to state. The questions related to different dances are very common in banking exams. Today we are going to focus on classical and folk dances of India.

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Traditional Folk Dances and Classical Dances

classical and folk dances of india

Dance is a form of art that involves the movement of your body, rhythm, and music. In many cultures, it is considered a way of expressing yourself.

Also, it is performed as a form of social interaction, emotional expression, and exercise. Many times it is also used to express the ideas. In India, almost every state has its own form of dance.

The folk dances and classical dance in India have so much of variety.

Folk Dances

These are the type of dance that is performed by people at social gatherings. For these dance forms, people with little to none professional training can also perform.

Furthermore, these dance forms are often based on traditional music. This dance form is meant for group performances.

Read more about Famous Place of India here in detail.

Folk Dances of India


This joyous form of dance popular in Assam. There are three festivals in Bihu. The most colorful and important one is the spring festival called ‘Bohag Bihu’ which is celebrated in the month of April.


Garba is the popular form of folk dance in Gujarat. It is performed for nine days during the festival of Navratri. This dance is performed by men and women in circular form.

Likewise Navratri, this dance form is also performed on Vasant Panchami, Sharad Purnima, Holi, and other such festivals.


The etymological root of this word is traced back to the Sanskrit word ‘Chhaya’, which means shade. This is in reference to the mask used by the dancers.

Further, In this dance form, there are a variety of themes. They are mostly based on everyday life, mythology, mood or emotions, and many more. The rituals for Chhau are spread throughout the year from Dussehra.

Other popular folk dances of India are

  • Dandiya – Gujarat
  • Dumhal – Kashmir
  • Kilkkli – Punjab
  • Karagam – Tamil Nadu

Classical Dance

Classical dance forms are performed inside the holy places based on the rituals. These rituals are also called Agama Nartanam. The dance forms in classical are characterized based on the grace and precision of the movements.

Also, it includes steps, poses, and gestures. The classical dance in India is based on Natya Shastra and are of enlightenment.

The Classical Dances in India


Bharatnatyam is one of the most popular forms of dances in India. It is said to be originated in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.

Further, there are three concepts that are given preference in Bharatnatyam. They are raga, thaala, and bhava.


Ghoomer is a popular form of dance in Rajasthan. It is derived from the word ‘ghoomna’ which in Hindi means to roam.

Hence, in this dance, the performers carry earthen pots and use their slick movements of hands and feet.

The other popular classical dance form in India and their states are

  • Kathak – North India
  • Gaudiya Nritya – West Bengal
  • Kathakali – Kerala
  • Manipuri – Manipur
  • Odissi – Orissa
  • Kuchipudi – Andhra Pradesh

Questions on Traditional Folk Dances of India

Q. Chhau is a famous dance form of which region?

A. Goa                    B. Assam                      C. Gujarat                      D. West Bengal

Answer: D. West Bengal

Q. Ghumar dance form originated from ____

A. Sikkim               B. Manipal                   C. Assam                       D. Rajasthan

Answer: D. Rajasthan

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