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Dances of India

Bharatnatyam

Bharatnatyam

The most celebrated art form of the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu, Bharatnatyam is a dynamic and earthy dance style. Bharatnatyam dancers are usually women and, like the sculptures they take their positions from, always dance bent-kneed.

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Kathak

Kathak

The Kathak dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks or storytellers. This dance form has a distinct Hindu-Muslim texture. The dance is performed straight-legged and more stress is laid on footwork.

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Kathakali

Kathakali

Kathakali is a rich and flourishing tradition of dance drama of the State of Kerala. It is a well-developed dance drama performance where the actors depict characters from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and from the Puranas (the ancient scriptures).

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Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi, the indigenous style of dance of Andhra Pradesh took its birth and effloresced in the village of the same name, originally called Kuchelapuri or Kuchelapuram, a hamlet in Krishna district.

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Manipuri

Manipuri

The remote northeast corner of India has one of the most graceful dances of the subcontinent. It takes its name from the State of Manipur. This style is multifaceted, ranging from the softest feminine to the obviously vigorous masculine. The women perform the dance with slow graceful movements and undulating arm gestures.

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Mohiniyattam

Mohiniyattam

Mohiniyattam is the female semi-classical dance form of Kerala. Literally, the dance of the enchantress, Mohiniyattam was mainly performed in the temple precincts of Kerala. The theme of Mohiniyattam is love and devotion to god. Vishnu or Krishna is more often the hero.

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Odissi

Odissi

Odissi is considered to be one of the oldest surviving dance forms based on archaeological evidence. The traditional dance form of Orissa, it owes its origin to the temple dances of the devadasi.

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