Remember the old TV days of “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata”? Whenever there is a glimpse of any festival, we used to see some beautiful ladies with gorgeous dresses and ornaments dancing to celebrate it. Be it heaven (where the Apsaras dance in the Indrapuri) or the earth – dance is always intertwined with Indian festivals.
In India, there are more than 100 dance forms. These forms are as diverse as the cultural heritage of this country. Every form of dance has its own story of origin which represents the traditional, historical and mythological value of a particular region. Not only the dance forms but also the costume, the makeup, the rhythm of them speak a lot about the culture of any region, religion, and above all, about this country of diversity.
Some festivals of India are synonymous with their dance forms, like- the Bihu dance of Assam. Bihu dance, which represents the joy and vigor of new life, is an inseparable part of the Bihu festivals and Assamese culture. The south Indian dance forms are developed from mythological stories. Often these dance forms tell the stories of Indian mythology and worship gods and goddesses through the dance. Mohiniyattam, a classical dance form of Kerala, gets its name from the word ‘Mohini’- an enchantress avatar of Vishnu. This form celebrates the feminine power and the victory of good over evil. Kathakali, the iconic dance form of India, is an art of “story-play”. Odissi is one of the most ancient classical dances of India that originated in the temples of Odisha.
The tree of Indian culture will flourish with every new spring, but the root of it remains faithful to its traditional heritage, just like the dance forms of India.