Mathuri(Koppu), Andhra Pradesh

  • Performed by inhabitants of Umji & Indravelli forest areas of Utnoor Tehsil in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Performed usually during Janmasthami (Themes taken from Mahabharata).
  • Nagara is main instrument used.

Bihu, Assam

  • Celebrated to mark advent of spring and Assamese New Year.
  • Display of Assamese handlooms and handicrafts in their glory and beauty by dancers.


  • Performed by group of young women dancers.
  • Offering to Lord Indra for a good harvest and monsoon.

Gaur Madia,Chattisgarh

  • Called Gaur after Bison.
  • May appear as hunt- dance or movement of animals.
  • Abhujmar plateau of Bastar

Kaksar, Chattisgarh

  • Performed by Abhuj Maria tribes of Bastar
  • Village deity- Kaksar. (dance to seek his blessings)
  • Performed by group of young boys+girls.


  • Prevalent in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
  • Elements of martial craft; associated with Kijri Kumbh celebrations.
  • Kijri Kumbh is a poisonous flower blossoming every 12 yrs.
  • Villagers march in a procession to destroy the flower.

Samai, Goa

  • Metal lamps- traditional handicrafts of Goa.
  • Samai dance is performed with these metal lamps or deepaks.


  • ‘Garbo’ word originated from Sanskrit “Garbhdeep” (earthen pot with circular holes which is known as “Garbo”)
  • Pot signifies- body; lighted lamp- divine soul.
  • Performed during Navratri; worship of Shakti.
  • Circular movements; clapping their hands to beats of Dhol.

Dandiya Ras,Gujarat

  • One of ancient dance form of Gujarat.
  • Origin traced to Lord Krishna.
  • Unique synthesis of folk dance, folk art, colour and folk music.
  • Roar of Dhol, gorgeous costumes, speed with vigour and gusto.


  • Hails from South Gujarat, border of Maharastra.
  • Usually performed during Holi & other festivals.
  • Interesting circular movement, formation of a human pyramid.
  • Vigorous & highly rhythmic.

Siddhi Dhamal,Gujarat

  • Siddhis migrated to India from Africa (750 yrs ago) & settled in coastal parts of Gujarat like Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Bharuch and Surat.
  • Follow Muslim religion and dance to beat of drum on eve of Urs of their Prophet Baba Gaur.


  • Performed by girls on border of Rajasthan & Haryana during various festivals like Holi, Gangaur Puja & Teej.
  • Formation of circles & start singing and clapping.
  • Songs full of satire & contemporary events with humour.

Kinnauri Natti,Himachal Pradesh

  • Is in veins of Kinnauris.
  • Important among the dances is Losar Shona Chuksam; Losai means New Year.
  • Dancers recreate movements of agricultural operations of sowing & reaping ogla(barley) and phaphar (local grain).


  • Typical dance of Munda community.
  • Represents rituals connected with preparations of war.
  • Dancers enact battle scenes; symbolizing great war of Mundas against British.
  • Musical instruments- dhol, madal, nagara, shehnai, ranbheri.

Rouff,J &K

  • Performed in months of Ramzan in every street.
  • Performed by girls; girls wear colourful Phirans- Kashmir cloaks & Kasaba-head gear.
  • Noot, tumbaknari, rahab- folk instruments used.

Jabro,J & K

  • Community dance of nomadic people of Tibetan origin living in Ladakh.
  • Performed by both men+women during Losar-Tibetan new year & also on festive occassions.
  • Slow, gentle movements; heavy gowns made of sheep’s skin are worn because of extreme cold.
  • Damien- a stringed instrument & flute are used.

Veerbhadra, Karnataka

  • Bought by South Indian Rulers.
  • Performed on Chaitra purnima & the Dhalo festival.
  • Person wears warrior costumes.
  • According to legend, Veerbhadra is supposed to get possessed by Divine Spirit.

Dholu Kunitha, Karnataka

  • Drum dance performed by men of Kuruba tribe.
  • Dance is noted for its powerful drumming & vigorous dancing.
  • Popular in some parts of north & south Karnataka.
  • High pitch of Tala, tappadi, Trumpets, Gong & flute reinforce rich vibrations.

Oppana, Kerala

  • Bridal dance performed by Muslim girls of Kerala(North) & Lakshwadeep
  • Separate dance for the bride & bridegroom.

Purulia Chaau, West Bengal

  • Emanating from martial practice; theme from Mahabharata+ Ramayana.
  • Commences with invocation of Lord Ganesha.
  • Highlights fight between Good & Evil in which good wins.
  • Popular in Jharkhand also; powerful movements+ drum beating+ dazzling costumes+ shehnai.

Badhai, Madhya Pradesh

  • Performed to thank Goddess Sheetala for safeguarding people from natural calamities & ailments to seek her blessings.

Baredi, Madhya Pradesh

  • Closely related to cattle from culture of Bundelkhand region.
  • Presented from Karthik Amawasya(Deepawali) to Kartik Poornima.
  • One person sings 2 lines from poem called Baredi.
  • Presented with worship of Govardhan Parvat.
  • Lord Krishna himself participated; it is believed.

Raee, Madhya Pradesh

  • Popular in the Bundelkhand region of MP & UP.
  • Originated in ancient times; denoted war celebration.
  • Conveys spirit of people of Bundelkhand.
  • Dancers dance with veils in their faces.

Lavani, Maharastra

  • Integral part of Tamasha folk theatre of Maharastra.
  • No restriction on themes(can be from devotion, war, music, poetry, drama etc)
  • Most popular +best known folk dance of state of Maharastra.

Dhol Cholom, Manipuri

  • Traditional folk dance of the state.
  • Dhol-large drum. Usually performed during Yaoshand festival(festival of colours).
  • Dance expresses love+ creativity (interplay of dhols+ fireplay).
  • Manipuri sankirtan traditions.

Leizim, Maharastra

  • Performed in every corner of Maharastra+ religious and social events+ akhada tradition of Maharastra.
  • Includes Ghuti Leizim, Ghoongroo Leizim, Dakhani Leizim+ Pahita Leizim.
  • Ocassionally performed in Gujarat & MP.
  • Musical instruments used- Dhol+Tasha+Jhanj.

Lewatana, Meghalaya

  • Hajong tribe of Meghalaya.
  • During Diwali.
  • Young men & women participate; comparison of Man with Nature.
  • Hajongs observe various festivities of Hindus.

Cheraw, Mizoram

  • Also known as Bamboo Dance.
  • Male dancers clap the bamboo staves, resulting a sharp sound setting the rhythms of dance.
  • Two bamboos are kept. Female dancers wear puanchei, kawrei, vakira & thinna.
  • Female dancers step in & cut with precise timing & maintaining elegant poise.
  • Drum+gongs used.

Gotipura, Odisha

  • Gotipuras are young boys dressed a s girls singing devotional love songs in praise of Radha Krishna.
  • Repertoire includes: a) Vandana- prayer to God or Guru. b) Sarigrama- pure dance number.
  1. c) Abhinaya- enactment of the song.
  2. d) Bandhya Nritya- rhythms of acrobatic postures, creating images of  Radha Krishna.
  • Musical accompaniment of Mardala- a pakhawaj ; gini- small cymbals, harmonium & flute.

Bhangra, Punjab

  • Energetic, most popular folk dance of the State, performed by men on festivals (Baisakhi mostly).
  • Bright coloured turbans, traditional instruments, dhol, Kurtas+ tehmats worn.
  • Rustic Punjabi folk songs

Ranappa Chaddhaiya, Odisha

  • Ganjam district of Odisha.
  • Dancers walk and dance on Ranappa(sticks) with gestures to rhythms of drums.
  • Chaddhaiya is part of famous “Danda Nata” of Odisha.
  • Performed in Chaitra Month; akin to Mayurbhanj Chaau; worship of Shiva.
  • Worshippers hold a “danda”(Pole) & Pasa(Knot) symbolic of devout Shaivite.
  • Accompaniment of Drums+ Mahuri(wind instrument)+ martial art display.

Giddha, Punjab

  • Performed by women.
  • Happy occassions like birth of a child, Teej, weddings.
  • Boli enacting, clapping, dancing, singing.
  • Dancers form a circle. Take turns to come centre stage. End: dance in sheer abandon.
  • Sing 3-4 times and then replaced by a new Boli.
  • Subject Matter: day to day life situations of rural folk.
  • Musical accompaniments- dholak(drum)+ gharah(earthen pot).

Kalbelia, Rajasthan

  • Women of nomadic Kalbelia community dance.
  • Primary occupation of this community is rearing snakes/ trading in snake venom.
  • “Been”+ “Daf” used; dances of “Nath” sect dressed in traditional black skirts perform this dance.
  • Dance highlights the virtuosity of dances reminiscient of the supple movements of snakes.

Chakri, Rajasthan

  • Women of Kanjar Community of Rajasthan.
  • Whirl around in colourful skirts like Chakri( moving in circles like spinning tops)
  • Weddings+ festive occasions.
  • Dalph, Manjira & Nagara.
  • Famous dancers come from Baran Kola District in Hadanti area of Rajasthan but its popular in Kota+ Bundi also.

Tamang Selo, Sikkim

  • Tamang community; also known as Damphu( musical instrument is Damphu which is used)
  • During Dasain/Dussehra; both young men+women; depicts colourful lifestyle of hill people.

Kavadi, Tamil Nadu

  • Supposed to be performed by giant named Idumban with pole across his shoulders.
  • At both ends he was supposed to carry Muruga(popular deity) of T.N.
  • Kavadi carrying symbolic of Idumban for pilgrims.
  • Kavadi never touched by dancers.
  • Several kinds of Kavadis.
  • Hypnostic music, drums, nadaswaram+ thavil.
  • Devotees sing the song “Kavadi chindu” with quick & vigorous movements.

Kadagam, Tamil Nadu

  • Worship of Mariamaman, Goddess of rain and wealth.
  • Performed during August when idol is carried in procession.
  • Ritual pot filled with water, beautiful decorations, several feet high, carried by the priest.
  • Colourful performers carry decorated vessels on their head & dance to the tune of Nagaswaram, Thavil, Muni, uddukai+ pambai. Perform acrobatic feats.
  • Very popular in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh & Kerala+ Puducherry.

Hozagiri, Tripura

  • Spectacular dance of Reang community.
  • Reang women performing Hozagiri are known as Mailuma & Maiktah, signifying festival of harvest+ worship of Lakshmi.
  • Belief: Goddess is pleased by dance+ song. They are blessed by bumper crops.
  • Theme is mostly cultivation.
  • Stand on pitcher, move their head with bottle on top which is an oil lamp/pick flower bowing their body.

All along they twist their back with finesse.

Dhobia, U.P.

  • Ocassion: birth, marriages, Dussehra, Holi.
  • Popular among dhobi community of Eastern U.P. only males participate.
  • Dance & drama.
  • Begins with recital of couplet in Almighty’s praise.
  • One dancer enters wearing royal costumes with dummy horse followed by others.
  • Drums, cymbals, ghoongroos(tied on ankles+ waist).[Ransingha used which is a wind instrument+ centre of attraction]
  • Hori, Kajri, Chaiti, Kaharwa, Lachavi, Dadra+ Nirgun songs adopted.
  • Also Bhojpuri+ Awadhi folk songs.

Yakshagana Bayalata

  • Originated in Karnataka.
  • Performed by male troupes maintained by temples.


  • Theatre form.
  • Dances are of nritta variety.
  • Enacted in open spaces.
  • Elaborate make up, head dresses.
  • Colourful clothes.


  • Epics.
  • Dashavtaras.
  • Focused on celebrating victory of good over evil.

Famous Exponent : Dr Kota Shivaram Karanth.


  • Ancient but obscure origin.
  • Derived from “Chaaya” or shadow.
  • Term according to Odissi indicates war dance.
  • 3 streams of Chchau dance- Seraikela, Purulia and Mayurbhanj[These are the 3 places where its 3 streams are widely seen]


  • Performed during Sun or Spring festival.
  • Shiva & Parvati are presiding deities.
  • Stance resembles combat.
  • Male preserve though women have started learning.
  • Usage of masks.
  • Very rigorous, martial style, requires lot of stamina.
  • Musical accompaniment- flutes, drums.


  • Epics.
  • Nature.
  • Puranas.

Exponent  Raja Bijay Pratap.

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