D is for numerous dance forms of India – the land of cultural diversity. Not for nothing is India known as the land of cultural diversity that celebrates each culture with equal zest and fervour. From North Jammu & Kashmir to the down south in Kanyakumari, India is united in its love for music, dance and any other cultural event that it celebrates during all the religious and non-religious festivals.

India has eight classical dances that are world-renowned and then there are some of the classical dances, which are lesser known outside that region but quite popular within the region. The prominent dance forms include Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Odissi, and Mohininattyam. Other dances include Bhangra (from Punjab), Bihu from Assam, Garba, Ghewar, and Dandiya from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Mahrashtra respectively.

Dance has been a part of every culture since time immemorial and for Indians it has a special significance as it celebrates everything happy and gay. People from all over the country break into their traditional dances during the harvest season thus celebrating a good harvest season.

We all like to shake a leg at some peppy music when we are happy and gay but what is the definition of dance? According to the Oxford Dictionary “Dance is a series of steps and movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music.” So dance is anything that we break into when we are happy and gay or if we hear some peppy music.

Traditional or classical dances were originated in the temples of various states to entertain Gods and Goddesses and this apart the dance forms also helped in carrying forward the folklore of that state in an effective manner. Today these dance forms are recognised by both the state and the central government as one of the traditional and intellectual Art forms.

So as you dance away your blues, do give some thought to the traditional dances of our country.