India the Land with diverse cultures treasures a rich variety of traditional folk and tribal dance forms. We have some extremely popular Indian Classical Dance forms which are highly respected not only in India but even across the globe. But apart from these Indian classical dance forms there are some traditional folk dances from different regions in India which are extremely popular and deserve all the name and fame.
These traditional folk dances are extremely popular across many villages and cities in India. Some of the most popular ones are Bhangra, Kalbelia, Rouff, Garba, Lavani, Bihu, Chhau and RautNacha. These folk dances are very old dance forms and are still practised with a lot of enthusiasm in the rural areas. People still perform them during many religious festivals and even weddings.
India’s Most Popular Traditional Folk Dances
Check out below India’s most popular folk dances which are still practiced in many states and these dance forms speak out the culture and tradition of many communities not in words but through the beautiful dance.
1. Punjab – Bhangra & Giddha
Bhangra & Giddha, do I need to introduce this dance form? These two dance forms are extremely popular not only in India but these days even foreigners love to do some Bhangra. Both these dance forms belong to the state of Punjab and are the traditional folk dance of land of Punjab. The Punjabi’s mostly perform Bhangra and Giddha during Baisakhi (the harvest festival).
2. Uttar Pradesh – RasLila
Another extremely popular dance form of India is RasLila. When we take the word RasLila, it automatically connects us to Lord Krishna. During Krishna Janmashtami and Holi RashLila is performed in many regions Uttar Pradesh, especially in Vrindavan and Mathura. Ever if you get a chance to visit Vrindavan during Krishna Janamashtmi, do not miss seeing this wonderful dance form as it’s a true delight to one’s eyes.
3. Jammu & Kashmir – Rouff
Rouff the traditional folk dance from Kashmir is as beautiful as Kashmir itself. Rouff is performed by beautiful Kashmiri ladies in a very elegant manner. The other popular folk dance of J&K is Dumhal. Both these dance forms are performed during occasions and festivals.
4. Gujarat – Garba
Garba is the traditional dance from the state of Gujarat. It has become so popular today that it is played in almost all the states in India. Performed during the Navratri festival around the idol of Goddess Shakti. Dandiya Raas and Garba are two dance forms which are extremely popular across the globe.
5. Rajasthan – Ghoomar
Listed among the world’s top 10 local dance forms, this beautiful dance form named Ghoomar comes from the royal Rajasthan. Ghoomar is a very traditional folk dance which is performed by the women of the Bhil tribe and also by other Rajasthan communities.
6. Assam – Bihu
Bihu is a popular folk dance from Assam, this traditional dance is performed during Bihu which is one among the three important cultural festivals celebrated in the state of Assam. Bihu dance is performed in a group, and has a unique traditional music.
7. Maharashtra – Lavani
Lavani is a combination of energetic traditional song and elegant folk dance with the beats of Dholki. It is a popular dance form from the state of Maharashtra and talks about the Maharashtrian culture. Currently Lavani has also made a special place in other states of India, like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
8. Odisha – Ghumura
A traditional tribal dance from the state of Odisha performed with some traditional folk music. This dance form has even represented the country in many international level dance events.
9. Kerala – Pulikali
Pulikali also known as the Tiger dance, one of the extremely popular folk art of Kerala. Pulikali is performed during the festival of Onam. An extremely colourful entertaining folk art from the beautiful state of Kerela.
10. Madhya Pradesh – Matki Dance
The state of Madhya Pradesh is quite well known for its culture, traditions and also its amazing dance forms. One of the most popular dance form which is performed mostly on weddings is Matki Folk dance. Matki Folk dance is a treasure for the state of Maharashtra.
11. Karnataka – DolluKunitha
One of the major dance form from the South India is DolluKunitha . This is the main dance form, but it includes many different variations of folk dances. Out of these variations few of them are the most important classical dance forms.
12. West Bengal – Chhau
Chhau dance has its origins from the Purulia district and is one of the most popular and important folk dance of the state of West Bengal. This dance form is mostly performed during Baisakhi which is the harvesting festival.
These amazing range of folk dances portrays the varied and vibrant culture of India. Dance can never be complete with that perfect attire and each of these dance form has unique attire which talk about the the culture and traditions even more clearly. I hope you liked reading this brief version of different types of Folk dances in India, stay tuned as I shall soon share some detailed write-ups about each one of them.
Photo by jay8085
See Also: Ghoomar: The Traditional Folk Dance Of Rajasthan, Saputara: The Only Hill Station In Gujarat