Gaur, Muria, Saila, Karma, Kaksar, Ghoomar, Dumhal, Hikat, Hurka Baul, Chholiya, Bhangra, Giddha, Dhamyal Classical dances of North and central India


Central India Dance


It is a popular folk dance of Madhya Pradesh and is popular in the sing Marias or Tallaguda Marias of south Baster. It involves men wearing head-dresses, with stringed cowries and plumes of peacock faethers, making their way to the dancing ground.


The Muria tribes of North Baster are are known for performing the folk dances of Muria. These dances start with an invocation or prayer to the phallic deity of their tribe and the founder of the Ghotul institution. One of the popular Muria dances comprises of Har Endanna dance, performed by boys and girls during marriages.


Saila dance is the dance from of Chhattisgarh and is performed by young boys in the post-harvest time. It is basically a stick-dance, in which dancers (each standing on one leg and supporting himself by holding on to the man in front) form of a circle. Then, all of them jump together, going round and round.


Popular among the Gonds and Baigas of Chhatisgarh and the Oraons of Madhya Pradesh, Karma dance is associated with the fertility cult. These dance forms represents the coming of green branches on trees, during the spring season. It is related to the Karma festival, which falls in the months of August.


Kaksar dance is performed by people in hope of reaping a rich harvest and is popular among the Abhumarias of Baster. It is mainly undertaken by young boys and girls, in order to invoke the blessings of the deity.

Northern India


The performers carry earthen pots and dance with slick movements of the hands and feet. Although, this is essentially a group dance, sometimes performers show their skills by dancing independently. This is basically a community dance for women and performed on auspicious occasions. In Haryana, the songs sung for Ghoomar are high pitched and rich in humour and satire. In Rajasthan, Ghoomar is performed to the songs of valour and victory.


The Dance of the Kashmiri’s is called as Dumhal. It is performed by dancers wearing long colourful robes and tall conical caps, studded with beads and shells. It is mainly the men folk of Wattal, who perform this dance, that too on specific occasions.


Hikat is performed by women and comes across as a modification of a game played by children. Forming pairs, the participants extend their arms to the front, gripping each other’s wrists. With their body inclined back, they go round and round at the same spot. Namagen is another folk dance that is specific to the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Hurka Baul

It is performed during paddy and maize cultivation, in different fields, by turns. Its name has been derived from the terms hurka, the drum which constitutes the only musical accompaniment to the dance and baul, the song. The singer narrates the story of battles and heroic deeds, while the dancers enter from two opposite sides and enact the stories, in a series of crisp movements.  


A famous dance of Kumaon region, Chholiya is mainly performed during marriages. As the groom’s procession proceeds to the bride’s house, male dancers, armed with swords and shields, dance spiritedly.


One of the most popular dances of North India, performed during the festival of Baisakhi is the Bhangra. Among the most virile and captivating dances of India, it is undertaken by men and includes tricks and acrobatic feats.


The dance performed by the women folk of Punjab is called the Giddha. In this dance form, a women or a pair of women dances at a time, while the others surround them and clap in rhythm. The dance is mainly performed during the festival of Teeyan to welcome the rains.


The folk dance of Haryana is known as the Dhamyal or the Duph. The dance can be performed by men alone as well as with women. The Duph, after which the dance from is named, is a circular drum, played nimbly by the male dancers, as they dance.
Gaur, Muria, Saila, Karma, Kaksar, Ghoomar, Dumhal, Hikat, Hurka Baul, Chholiya, Bhangra, Giddha, Dhamyal Classical dances of North and central India
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