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Wanderlust on World Dance Day – Indian Dance Forms

A Kathak dance recital by Uma Dogra and students

If you have wanderlust and happen to visit India, one of the ‘must-dos’ on your list should be  watching a dance performance. Whether Bollywood or classical, we Indians love our dance.  A birth, wedding, or in some communities even death, we will find an occasion to shake a leg.

Each state in India has its own special dance form – from the exuberant Bhangra of Punjab to the graceful Odissi of Orissa.  While we have more folk dances than we can count, only eight classical dance forms are recognized.

So, for this week’s photo challenge on WordPress, I decided to engage in wanderlust simply by  revisiting some of the dance performances I have seen from various states of the country.  Each picture here identifies the associated dance form and if that sufficiently piques your interest, you can watch a video on the Indian classical dance forms by clicking here.

A Mohiniyattam dance performance by Navarasa Dance Academy (students of Sushama Gopinath)


A Bharatanatyam performance by Lata Surendra


Jhelum Paranjape, founder of Smitalaya, performs an Odissi dance


A lesser known dance form Yakshagana, strongly associated with Karnataka state


Kathakali, Kerala state’s most well known dance form


Chhau is popular in the states of Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand


Darshana Jhaveri (lady to left) performs a Manipuri dance with another troupe member


Prateesha Suresh performs Sattriya, an Assamese dance that she worked to promote as a classical dance form


Wikipedia has a list of these Indian dance forms and the popular folk dances find a mention here

Even Huffington Post carried a post  today with some pictures of Indian dances here

Here is a video to help with the basics of Indian classical dances



  1. Pingback: Wanderlust: Rosetta Stone | What's (in) the picture?

  2. that’s a great take on WPC prompt. Rather than writing about destination which most of us do, your post offers fresh perspective on unique dances of India!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vibha Ravi

      Thanks for the appreciation . We have such a rich cultural legacy that when I tried to look up how many folk dances we have, I couldn’t get a number. We have a proverb in Hindi which means every two miles the water changes and every four miles the speech. It’s the same with dances – we have a vast variety here too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those still moments captured out of entire legacies of the diverse, rich cultures encapsuled within India are a tribute to the ethos and a celebration of the spirit. It is also a marvelous medium to approach the WP challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vibha Ravi

      Thanks for recognizing the effort Tina. I didn’t use the flash and kept the exposure low to avoid the noisy background – there were a whole lot of advertising banners on the stage.


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