INDIAN FOLK DANCES

Indian folk and tribal dances are simple dances, and are performed to express joy. Folk and tribal dances are performed for every possible occasion, to celebrate the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, a wedding and festivals. The dances are extremely simple with minimum of steps or movement. The dances burst with verve and vitality. Men and women perform some dances exclusively, while in some performances men and women dance together. On most occasions, the dancers sing themselves, while being accompanied by artists on the instruments. Each form of dance has a specific costume. Most costumes are flamboyant with extensive jewels.

SOME FAMOUS INDIAN FOLK DANCE STYLES WHICH WE TEACH ARE..

Bhangra (Punjab)

The dance known as Bhangra is one of Punjab’s most popular dances and the name of the music style. Bhangra is done with classic style Punjabi dresses, and with instruments including a Dhol, Chimta, Tabla, etc. It was originally danced during the harvest season, but now is a popular form of celebration at any time such as weddings and festivals. Bhangra is a very popular style of music and dance in Punjab, but is also very popular in the diaspora, specifically in Canada and the U.K. where many Bhangra competitions are now held. Creating Bhangra teams has become very popular and influential with teenager.

Giddha (Punjab)
The counterpart to male bhangra, giddha is a female folk dance from Punjab. It is an energetic dance derived from ancient ring dancing that highlights feminine grace and elasticity. It is often accompanied by singing folk couplets known as boliyan.

Garba (Gujarat)
Garba is customarily performed by women, the dance involves circular patterns of movement and rhythmic clapping. It popularly performed during Navratri. The word comes from “garbha deep” which is translated as either light in the inner sanctum of the temple or lamp inside a perforated earthen pot (which is often used in the dance.

Ghoomar (Rajasthan, Haryana)
Women dressed in multi-hued skirts swirl gracefully in a circle during this lively dance. Ghoomar is performed by young women and girls during various festivities like Holi, Gangaur Puja, Teej, etc. In Rajasthan, Ghoomar is performed to the songs of valor and victory. In Haryana, the songs sung for Ghoomar are high-pitched and rich in humor and satire

Kalbelia (Rajasthan)
The dance is performed by the women of Kalbelia community. The main occupation of the community is catching snakes and trading snake venom. Hence the dance movements and the costumes bear resemblance to that of the serpents. Dancers attired in traditional black swirling skirts, sway sinuously to the plaintive notes of the ‘been’ – the wooden instrument of the snake charmers

Dumhal (Jammu & Kashmir)
Dumhal is a popular dance of Kashmir. This dance is performed with long colorful robes, tall conical caps (studded with beads and shells). Dumhal dance is accompanied by songs which the performers themselves sing. It is supported by drums. There is an interesting tradition associated with Dumhal dance where the performers of this dance place a banner into the ground at a fixed location and they begin to men dance around this banner.

GARBHA & DANDIYA (Gujarat)
Garbha Dance is a religious dance in honor of Mother Earth performed in Western India. It is performed during any special occasion. Garbha literally means womb. It symbolizes divine maternal energy and the dance represents reproductive energy. Garbha Dance is performed by a group of women who dance in a circular pattern clapping their hands around a pot containing a lamp. The pot is considered to be a womb and the lamp as the life in it. The dancers hold sticks and hit them together according to the rhythmic tune of the accompanying song.