Eight Forms of Famous Indian Classical Dance

India has a very rich culture of dance and music, Traditional, classical, folk and Tribal dances style. These Incredible traditional dances of India are originated during the ancient times and considered the mother art of classical dances. The Classical Dances of India includes Bharatanatyam, the oldest form of the classical dance in the country and one of the Most Popular Classical Dance in India and ancient in Natya Shastra.

Bharatanatyam – Tamil Nadu


Bharata Natyam is considered to the oldest form of dance and mother of all other style of classical dance in India. The classical Indian dance Bharatanatyam originated from the art of temple dancers in the South India state of Tamil Nadu. Bharatanatyam is reworked form of dance from the traditional sadir and combination of expression,music,beat and dance. Bharatanatyam or the fire dance is one of the most popular styles of dance performed by male and female dancers.

Kathak – Uttar Pradesh


Kathak is originated from Uttar Pradesh and one of the eight forms of ancient classical dances of India. Famous Kathak dance is derived from Katha or story-tellers,people who narrate stories during the whole art of Kathak dance.

Kathakali – Kerala


Kathakali is one of the most attracting classical Indian dance-drama performed by well trained artist. Kathakali is originated in God’s own country Kerala in 17th century and got popular at every corner of India. The attractive make-up,detailed gestures and elaborate costumes of the characters along with body movements with playback music are best experience to watch.

Kuchipudi – Andhra Pradesh


The Classical Indian dance form originated Andhra Pradesh state and got its name from Kuchipudi village near the Bay of Bengal. Kuchipudi is the most popular traditional dance form in South India performed with violin, flute and the tambura instruments and the characters first introduces them self by the dharavu.

Manipuri – Manipur


Manipuri dance form is one of the major classical dance forms of India,originates from the north-eastern state Manipur. Manipuri themes is based to the Raslila act of Radha and Krishna and is purely religious along with spiritual experience.

Odissi – Orissa


Odissi is the oldest surviving dance form in India,originates from state of Orissa. The Odissi dance form is known for its style, the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis. Beautiful Odissi Dance is traditional and ancient style of dance performed in the temples.

Sattriya – Assam


The Sattriya Dance of Assam is living tradition of state and one of the eight major classical Indian dance traditions. Sattriya classical dance form is well appreciated and practiced outside the state as well as outside of Indian mainland.

Mohiniyattam – Kerala


Mohiniyattam is another classical dance style from Kerala state and one of the eight principal Indian classical dance. The Mohiniyattam is a popular dance form with a drama in dance,performed with subtle gestures and footwork.


  • Priyesh Maharana says:

    Is Gaudiya nritya a classical dance???…I don’t believe so. Plz add references to it.

    • themechanic says:

      No Gaudiya is not a classical dance. The Sangeet Natak Akademi recognizes eight – Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Sattriya, Manipuri and Mohiniyattam.

    • Panna says:

      It has not yet been accredited as classical but study of this dance is eligible for scholarship by the cultural ministry of India. But work is going on to recognise it as classical dance. It was lost during colonial era due to lack of patronage and political disturbances. This is the official website of Gaudiya Nritya-www.gaudiyanritya.org.

  • Madhusmita Nanda says:

    Thank you for providing such information.

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