Folk Dance


Indian Folk Dances Symbolizes The Diversity Of The Land

India is a land of diversity and every region in India has its own unique folk dances.  There have been cultural influences from the Mughals, the Sikhs, the Buddhists, and of course the Hindu religion.  Some folk dances demonstrate the acrobatic abilities of the peoples while others depict stories from their culture.  The costumes are colorful and vibrant as are the movements of the dance.  Every region has its own specific costumes and jewelry.  North Indian folk dances are performed as Thanksgiving dances at the end of the harvest or for the birth of a male child.  It may have old or young male and female performers.

Graceful Folk Dances Specific To Communities

The Dumhal dance of the Wattal tribe in Kashmir are done by their menfolk who wear colorful robs and conical caps.  The Kud dance, also of Jammu and Kashmir in North India, is danced to the sound of instruments such as the Narsingha, drums, and flutes.  The Rouf dance is performed by the Muslim community of Jammu and Kashmir during festivals such as Ramzan and Eid ul Fitr and also during the harvest season.  Women perform while standing in a line with their arms around the waist of the dancer next to them.  This graceful folk dance is danced to the rhythm of mystical poetry.  The Ras Lila and Hikat are dances specific to the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana regions.  They are performed at festivals accompanied by folk songs. The Loor and Dhuph are other popular dances in Haryana during the spring season.  The Dangi is performed during the harvest season and is one of the oldest folk dances in Haryana.

Heralding Joyous Events Through Folk Dances

Uttarkhand has dances such as Hurka Baul performed during their cultivation season to the accompaniment of drums.  The Langvir Nritya is done during festivals where the dancer balances on a bamboo pole to the beat of drums.  Bhangra is the most popular folk dance form in North India.  It is performed in Punjab during Baisakhi by energetic dancers and drummers who are dressed in colourful turbans and lungis.  The Gidha dance of Punjab is danced by the women to welcome the rain.  The Garbha is the famous dance from Gujarat performed during the Navaratri festival.  The Ghoomar dance from Rajasthan is done by the Bhil women in spectacular ghagharas who twirl in circles with veil covered faces.  The Chhau dance is most famous in Odisha.  The North Eastern states of India also have their own traditional folk dances.  The most famous dances from Bihar are Bideshiya and Domkach, the latter performed during marriages.  The Santali and the Jhumair are well-known folk dances from West Bengal.

Keeping People In Touch With Their Cultural Roots

Folk dances are not just spontaneous dances.  They have their own props and styles passed on from previous generations.  There may be subtle variations over time but the basic movements remain the same.  North Indian folk dances are a result of different socio-economic traditions and conditions.  They help to keep the people in touch with their cultural roots and give them an opportunity to value their traditions.


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