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With its wealth of diversity and culture, India is known for its varying dance styles which derive from different parts of India. The term "Bollywood" refers to the Hindi culture, art, and the booming film industry from Bombay. Did you know that Bollywood produces more films than any other country? Bollywood Dance is what you see when you watch Bollywood films, which play out similar to a musical filled with beautiful costumes, theatrical performances, and a mix of Indo-Western dance styles.
Other styles of South Asian dance include: Bhangra (from Punjab), Raas/Garba (from Gujarat), Bharatanatyam (from South India), Kathak (North India), Odissi (East India)
Bollywood dance is what you see in Bollywood movies but it appear in many different variations. Bollywood performances consist of styles and influences from classical and Indian folk styles to modern and western dancing. In India itself this Bollywood dancing is called 'film dance', The Bollywood dance style is a beautiful blend of all Indian dance styles be it classical Indian dance, folk Indian dance or the more current R&B, hip hop music.
Brruah! Bhangra is a fun, upbeat, vibrant genre of music and dance known for its colorful drum beats and lively pump up rhythms. It originally comes from the state of Punjab, but its made its way into pop culture across the country and his caught the ear of well-known artists like Missy Elliott, Sean Paul and Jay-Z, who has performed a number of hits with Bhangra artist Punjabi MC. Bhangra has a very energetic and lively vibe and the dancing is equally as exciting. Typically, Bhangra dance moves contain a lot of hops, jumps, pumped up energy and props. Bhangra dance never disappoints especially if loud, fun, energetic performances are on the menu. Many times, Bhangra is also accompanied with a Dhol player or a a traditional Indian drummer - making for an even more exciting performance!
Raas & Garba are unique traditional dance forms native to the state of Gujarat, located on the West coast of India. Raas and Garba performances express joy and is often performed in order to celebrate the festival season of Navratri. Raas, is mainly comprised of the usage of props, the most important being the use of dandiyas (traditional Indian dancing sticks). It is a high-energy dance which is usually performed with an even number of dancers (as the traditional dance is done with partners). Emphasis is placed on intricate dance moves and creative dance formations. The Garba dance style is traditionally performed in a cyclic formation using different clap patterns to match the music. Raas & Garba have a tremendous cultural and historical significance attached to them.
Bharatanatyam, is the oldest Indian classical dance form originated in the Tanjore district of tamil Nadu and regarded as the mother of many other classical dance forms of India. It was initiated in the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu and eventually flourished in South India. It was performed with excellent footwork and impressive gestures and it includes nrita, nritya and natya. Bharatanatyam is known as a classical dance style and Bharatanatyam performances are generally performed solo but can be done in groups.
Native to North India, Kathak is one of the six classical Indian dance forms. Kathak originated within Hindu temples as a storytelling device for portraying the epic tales contained within the Hindu scriptures, Mahabharata and Ramayana. In Kathak performances, poetry was combined with rhythmic movement to aid in storytelling.
Odisha, on the eastern sea coast, is the home of Odissi dance, one of the many forms of Indian classical dance. Sensuous and lyrical, Odissi is a dance of love and passion touching on the divine and the human, the sublime and the mundane. The Natya Shastra mentions many regional varieties, such as the south-eastern style known as the Odhra Magadha which can be identified as the earliest precursor of present day Odissi. Odissi performances are full of expression and amazing storytelling sure to capture and audience.