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Top Most Popular Different Dance Forms of India

India is known for its rich cultural past. Dance and music have been central to our culture. Several mesmerising dance forms have originated in our country. These dances have become famous worldwide. Each of these dance forms boasts of its own set of unique moves and style coupled with beautiful costumes.

Different Types of Dance Forms of India With States

Different dance forms of india with states

Here is a look at the top most popular dance forms of India.


This dance form originated in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the oldest Indian dance forms. It is also one of the most beautiful and difficult dance forms. Bharatanatyam does not only focus on the moves but also on the expressions of the dancers.

Bharatanatyam Classical Dance

Photo: Kamranahmedar (WikiPedia)

The dance form is said to be inspired by the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu. It expresses the religious themes and ideas of South India. It takes years to get trained in this dance form.


While most dance forms originated in South India, Kathak finds its route in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. One of the largest Indian states, Uttar Pradesh is known for its rich historical past.

Kathak, a part of the glorious past of the state, is popular worldwide. This dance form is said to have originated from the ancient kathas or stories.

Kathak Dance

Photo: Flickr (Adarsh Upadhyay)

It has three forms referred to as the gharanas. These have been named after the Indian cities, Jaipur, Lucknow and Banaras where these dance forms evolved.

A story is narrated as a part of the Kathak performance to make the act interesting.


This dance form hails from the Indian state of Manipur which is located in the country’s north east region. The dancers wear a beautiful costume that includes a stiff, long skirt.

Manipuri Dance

Photo: Matsukin (Flickr)

The dance form is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It beautifully depicts the raslila of Lord Krishna and Radha. Manipuri dance takes the audiences in the spiritual realm. Many people from the audience are seen dancing during the act immersed in the devotion of Lord Krishna.


This classical Indian dance form originated in Andhra Pradesh’s Kuchipudi village. Kuchipudi dance finds a mention in the Hindu Sanskrit text, Natya Shastra. The dance form dates back to the 10th century. The evidence of the same can be seen in the copper inscriptions that existed during that time.

Kuchipudi - Classical Dance


This ancient dance form evolved over the time and its modern version that came into being back in the 17th century is said to be founded by Tirtha Narayana Yati and Siddhendra Yogi.

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Shailja Sharma

Shailja is a post graduate in English Literature. Writing comes naturally to her and she is content doing what she does best - writing and editing. An avid reader, a nature lover and a travel enthusiast are some of the other terms that describe her.