Folk Dances of West Bengal

Some of the well known folk dances of Bengal are:

Ø  Baromashya                                       Ø  Baul
Ø  Bhadu                                                Ø  Bou Nritya
Ø  Bratachari - Raibense                          Ø  Bura-Buri Dance 
Ø  Chaibari Nritya                                    Ø  Dance of Kali 
Ø  Dhali & Paika Nritya                             Ø  Dhamail
Ø  Dhol Badan                                         Ø  Domphu Nritya
Ø  Durga Puja Dhak                                 Ø  Gajan
Ø  Gambhira                                           Ø  Ganga
Ø  Ganga Baidya                                     Ø  Incense Dance 
Ø  Jhumur Dance                                    Ø  Karam Dance 
Ø  Kathi Dance                                       Ø  Khemta Dance 
Ø  Kirtan Dance                                      Ø  Kukri Nritya
Ø  Lathi Dance                                        Ø  Madol Puja 
Ø  Mahadeva Dance                                 Ø  Mech Dance
Ø  Mundari dance                                    Ø  Nabanna
Ø  Natua Dance                                      Ø  Noila Broto
Ø  Oraon Dance                                      Ø  Purulia Chhau
Ø  Rabha Dances                                    Ø  Raibenshe 
Ø  Rajbanshi Dance                                 Ø  Ranapa Dance
Ø  Santhali Dance                                   Ø  Stick Dance or Laghur Nritya
Ø  Tushu                                                Ø  Vrata Dance

Kinnauri Nati Folk Dance of Himachal Pradesh

Dance Kinnauri Nati of Himachal Pradesh

Kinnauri Nati is a folk dance which originated in Himachal Pradesh. This dance is closely related to nature. This dance is not only for New Year celebration but it also celebrates rich yield of this state. Reaping and harvesting is being celebrated along with this dance. This dance of state has two goals i.e. it welcomes the coming of New Year and it is also an indication of rich harvest.

The intrinsic premise of Kinnaur performance is to a great extent comparable to the Bhangra Dance of Punjab. Although lacking pace, the sequences make the dance worth its majesty. Depicting all the activities of sowing the crop till its reaping, the dancers repeat the graceful actions of their bodies and symbolize the loveliness of the state. Moreover, the song offers a presentation of the mildness of the mountainous zephyr, gradually curving river and the musical swaying of trees.
Earlier this dance was performed by men only. Now it is opened to the women also which makes it magnificent to watch. Kinnauri Nati Dancers bond their hands and create movement in accordance to the melody and beat. The variation in them gives birth to thirteen styles. Traditionally, this dance was performed by the men who wore elaborate clothes, caps etc. But today, women have also made their foray in the field of dance which can be performed today without any barrier of cast, gender or even age making it a truly popular dance form. Basically belonging to the Lasya variety, this dance performed for3 to 4 days equally in mourning and in nights and is believed to be a dance of slow-movement. The dance is very popular in the state because it is an expression of happiness.

This dance adds a majestic look to the celebration. The dance is the representation of the happiness gained after a good harvest. . Gaddi Nati, Kullu Nati, Kinnauri Nati, Sirmouri Nati and Shimla Nati are the popular forms of this folk dance. Earlier, Natti was performed for several hours and continued till dancers and orchestra were exhausted, but in the present time the duration of the dance has been shortened. Music resembles the sound of breeze blowing through forests. This dance is based upon beat and rhythm which is different from area to area. There are thirteen variations in this dance depending on the tempo. The dance is accompanied by four to eight musicians.

Musical Instrument Used In Kinnaur Nati Dance :-
The instruments that accompany this dance range from the Drums, the Shehnai, the Cymbals and the Ranasinga.

Costumes of Kinnaur Nati Dance:-

The costume of the men consists of the churidars with pyjamas and decorated caps. Sometimes, the costume comprises of the Chola or the top coat. In addition to that the men also wear socks with shoes. The costume of the women comprises of the Ghaghra or the skirt, the Gachi, the Lachhi, the floral shawl and the Boomani with silver chains, tight churidar pyjamas. The women also wear heavy armlets and silver and gold ornaments known as Tunki and Chanki around their necks. The men and women hold an ornate fan in one hand and a colourful handkerchief in another and clap as they dance. The clothes worn by the dancer makes them look vibrant. The clothes and jewellery worn by the women dancers adds a glam quotient to this dance form.
Picture of Kinnaur Nati Dance :-

Video's of Kinnaur Nati Dance :-

Tippani Folk Dance of Gujarat

Tippani  Dance

Tippani Dance originated from the chorwad region of Saurashtra in Gujarat.

In this dance, women labourers those are engage in creation work clout on the ground with lengthy sticks named as ‘Tippani’. The rod has iron/wood piece at one end, to make it stronger in opposite rows. This makes the dance different and popular in Saurashtra. The dance starts gradually, through the Beating and singing of the earth done in the identical rhythm. As the rapidity speed up, the dancers alternately strike the ground and hit the knob of the mallets collectively, and then commence body activities, usually circuitous and increasing themselves. Towards the ending of the dance, all the women set in rows and smack the floor very swiftly. An exclusive feature of dance is the dynamic quickness and cadenced pulse of footsteps and Tippani striding.  It is normally execute on festivals such as Holi or Diwali and on the diverse observance like wedding.

This dance form is popular among the people of Kharva and Koli habitants of the coastal region, as they dance in the form of sailor and fisherman. After a day of grueling labour, they use a rhythmic musical process to escape from the workload that is involved in their task. This dance is one of the examples of the virile dance forms of the folk dances in Gujarat.

Musical Instrument Used In Tippani Dance  :-

The wooden sticks are the main medium for producing the sounds and music in the Tippani dance by the dancers. With simple instruments like a `Turi` and a `Thali` i.e. brass plate the dancers generate the music. Dhol, Marinara and Shehnai are also the main musical gadget used to manage the cadence and pace of the arrangements.

Costumes of Tippani Dance:-

Folk costumes for the dance frequently consist of a short coat well known as “Kedia” with tight sleeves having overstated shoulders and borders, tight trousers such as the Churidars and vibrantly overstated caps or decorated turbans and a decorated waist band.

Picture of Tippani Dance :-

Video's of Tippani Dance :-

Raas Folk Dance of Gujarat

Raas Dance of Gujarat

The festival of Navratri is often associated with lots of music and dancing. One of the most famous dance forms in the Raas Dance, which is believed to have existed since ages. The dance form is said to have originated from the Saurashtra and Kutch area. The word Ras originates from the Sanskrit word “Rasa” meaning “juice or essence”. It denotes the emotions and the mental state of the artist that is depicted in the dance. The idea of rasa is important to several forms of art such as music, dance, cinema, literature, etc.

Dandiya Raas is one of the popular dance forms which is mainly performed in the city of Lord Krishna, Vrindavan. But Dandiya raas is performed during the eve of Navratri in the state of Gujarat. The word Ras in `Dandia-Ras` signifies Ras dance, which is, considered a form of Ras Leela. Ras Leela, which was an inseparable part of Lord Krishna`s childhood action he used to perform at Gokul and Vrindavan. The Ras is simple and is generally performed by a group of youthful people.There is a set up of Mandvi around which all the people moves and play Dandiya in a very joyful manner. Women are the major participants in this dance form who enjoyed playing. The Dandiya Raas dance originated as devotional Garba dances, which were performed in Goddess Durga’s honor. This dance form is actually the staging of a mock-fight between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura, the mighty demon-king. This dance is also nicknamed ‘The Sword Dance’. The sticks of the dance represent the sword of Goddess Durga.

Today, Raas is not only an important part of Navaratri in Gujarat but extends itself to other festivals related to harvest and crops as well.
Mer Raas
In the Mer Raas, the dance begins on a slow note but the tempo speeds up during the performance. The white shepherds perform the Gher Raas whereas the agriculturists from south Gujarat perform the Gheria Raas.
Danda Raas
The Danda Raas is the Raas Dance where sticks or dandas are used. The dandia form of the Raas is native to Gujarat and is performed by men and women with small sticks. The Danda Raas is the most popular folk art form and has gained admiration all around the country.

Gher Raas
Members of the shepherd community perform the 'Gher Raas' using long sticks.

Gheria Raas
Another agricultural community performs the 'Gheria Raas' holding a stick in one hand and a peacock feather in the other.

Gof Gunthan
Yet another variation of the Dandiya Raas is the Gof Gunthan in which dancers carry sticks in only one hand, and a length of colored string in the other. The latter is woven into a unique pattern as they move around in a circle.
Tala Raas
The Tala Rasaka also known as the Mandala is the dance where hands are used for clapping.

Lata Raas   
The Lata Rasaka is the dance where dancers grip one another and dance like a creeping plant clinging to a tree.

Musical Instrument Used In Raas Dance :-

The musical instruments like the dhol, table, harmonium, naal, cymbals, zanz, shehnai (flute) is played in the Raas dance. The Ras Dance songs vary depending on the type of dance that is being performed. The music these days has transformed these days and several new instruments are being used.

Costumes of Raas Dance:-

The costumes worn during the Ras Dance are typically very bright and colourful. The traditional costume for women consists of ghaghara a long skirt, a choli or the blouse and an odhani or the head cover. The attire is ornated with beautiful beaded and silver jewellery. Women adorn themselves with necklaces, heavy earrings, bangles, amulets, anklets, head decorations, etc. The male members wear Kedia which is a small coat and Kurta with tight sleeves, having pleated frills at the waist and the borders are embroidered. Tight trousers, colorful turbans and kamarbandha (waist band) are also a part of the attire.   

Picture of Raas Dance :-

Video's of Raas Dance :-

Padhar Folk Dance of Gujarat

Padhar Dance of Gujarat

Padhar Dance is one of the popular folk dance form performed by the people of Padhar community. Padhar Community is one of the prominent communities of Gujarat. The community is also one of the ancient communities of the state. Padhar people are followers of Hinduism and they worship various forms of Goddess Durga and pay special reverence to the goddess Hinglaj Mata. A few have also become members of the Swaminarayan sect.
When performing this dance form the people are in a mood of excitement and frenzy. People indulge in a lot of fun, merry making, music and dance.
The Padhar are distributed in six villages in Surandarnagar and four villages in Ahmadabad District. Their main villages are Shahpur, Sahiyal, Dharji, Devadthal, Nam Katechi, Ranagadh, Ralal, Parali, Parnala, Godi and Anandpur. They claim to have originated in Sindh, and their existence is due to the grace of Hinglaj mata, a Hindu goddess. The Padhar have been given scheduled caste status, and speak Gujarati. According to some traditions, they were originally Kolis, although this claim is denied by the Kolis.
The dance replicates the events that happen in the life of mariners. Rising and falling of sea waves and the wandering nature of mariner’s job is shown through this dance form. As sea plays a major role in the life of these people, it also reflects in various art, dance and music forms performed by Padhar community people. These dance forms depict the rich traditions and culture of the place. They also show the hardships of the people and their way of accepting challenges and overcoming them. Dance is the best way to express sentiments and emotions that are difficult to put across in words. The dances also show the life style of people of a specific region. Gujaratis celebrates every occasion in their life with great joy and fervour and so is with the Padhar dance
Costumes of Padhar Dance:-

The people of the Padhar community wear normal Dhotis and Kurtas while performing the dance. A waist band of cloth is tied with the outfit of the performers. The head of the dancers is also covered with the tied piece of the cloth making the performance look graceful and pleasant.

Picture of Padhar Dance :-

Video's of Padhar Dance :-