Folk Dances of India
India is country rich in culture and tradition where each and every happy occasion is expressed with dance. In such context Folk dances are performed on every occasion such as the arrival of seasons, wedding and festivals by everyone as it is performed with simple steps. Indian folk dances symbolizes full of energy and liveliness of life.
Some of the folk dances are performed separately by men and women and some by both dances together. The costumes worn for folk dances are colorful with extensive jewels and designs. Folk dances have become an integral part since every festival is celebrated with great joy. There are many folk and tribal dances which have got improved with skill and the imagination of the dances.
The popular folk dance of Gujarat state of India is Garba performed by womenfolk in a circular form during Navratri festival, Sharad Purnima, Holi. As the Garba dance is performed by women they come out into an open area with earthen pots holding lighted lamps balanced on their heads and sing Garba songs praising Mother Goddess Amba going round the goddess with the rhythm of Dhol who sit in the centre.
Garba dancer wears typical folk costumes with colorfully embroidered that consists of a short coat called Kedia, Churidars and colourfully embroidered turbans and a coloured waist band.
Dandiya is a special Navrathri dance performed by a group with simple dance steps moving in circles clapping with Dandiya sticks. These dandiya sticks represent the sword of Goddess Durga.
Dandiya dancers wears traditional dresses which are colorful embroidered gagra choli, and bandhani dupattas dazzling with mirror work and heavy jewellery.
Bhangra is a folk dance of Punjab state. It is a lively form of folk music and dance performed to celebrate the success of the harvest festival of Baisakhi. Bhangra dance is considered as the king of dances in India.
Bhangra dance is performed with the lyrics of Punjabi Boliyaan played with the instrument of dhol drum. The dancers begin to move in a circle around the drummer, who now and then lifts the two sticks, with which the beats the drum, to beckon the dancers to a higher tempo of movement.
The Bhangra dancers wears bright, colored Patka on the head, a lacha or lungi of the same color, a long tunic and a black or blue waistcoat and ghunghroos on the ankles.
Gidda dance performed by women during Lohri festival in Punjab. With the performance of Gidda dance women reveals the joy, expel their feelings. The lyrics such as bolis are sung while dancing Gidda dence that exhibits the deep human feeling. One women plays drum while others form a circle and move raising their hands to the level of their shoulders and clap their hands in harmony.
Gidda dancers wear traditional dress ghagra choli or Punjabi Salwar-Kamiz with bright colours.
Lavani is a musical dance performed with a combination of traditional song and dance by enchanting beats of drums. The Lavani dance has the music of folk-drama called Maanch that reveals in its musical dialogues, recited to the accompaniment of drums. The Lavani dancers wears attractive saris.
Bihu dance is a popular folk dance of Assam state that is performed during Bihu harvesting festival of the state. Many young men and women perform the Bihu dance together in circles or parallel rows According to the beats of drums and pipes. Love forms the subject matter of the songs that are sung during the performance. Several Assam tribals have a number of folk dances.
Kollattam is a stick dance of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states in south India. Kolattam is a small stick called as Kol which gives the main rhythm and Attam is a play. Kolattam dance is performed during local village festivals and is a combination of rhythmic movements, songs and music. The Kolattam dance group is performed by a group of dancers of about 8 to 40 dancers.
Thapetta Gullu Dance:
Thapetta Gullu is a regional folk dance of Andhra Pradesh performed by more than 10 dancers by singing songs in the praise of local goddess. The Thapetta Gullu dancers wear tinkling bells around their waist, use drums, hanging around their necks while performing.
The Kerala folk dance Padayani is one of the most colorful and popular dances associated with Padayani temples. Padayani dance is a series of divine and semi divine imitation, putting Kolams of different shapes and colors. The Padayani dancers wears Kolams that are huge headgears and a mask for the face.