Dances in India that Capture the Magic of the Country

Whether it's lyrical movements, classical Indian style, or hip-hop, dance is, without a doubt, one of the great visual icons of India. "Because for me, India is about celebrating who we are. We are song, we are dance, we're culture and we're a unity, and we are always embracing other dance forms to grow."


An ancient classical dance, Bharatanatyam traces its roots to the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu, in southeastern India. Traditionally performed as a solo by women, the centuries-old dance form heavily emphasizes expressive gestures and religious storytelling. The Indian classical dancers require precision, expression, and engagement of every muscle. 


One of the eight major forms of Indian classical dance, kathak has links to both Muslim and Hindu cultures. Thought to have emerged in northern India, Kathak is another major form of Indian classical dance.

Traditionally attributed to the traveling bards of northern India, the dance form evolved to suit the tastes of the Mughal court. Today, it manifests in a new school of performance of Sufi Kathak, which blends classic style with elements of Sufism — a mystical branch of Islam with more than a thousand years of history in India.


Energetic folk dance of celebration from Punjab, bhangra has a rich history as one of India's most joyous art forms. It originally emerged as a way to honor the harvest season and, today, you will often see iterations of it at weddings in India. It's a high-energy performance, full of joyous, dramatic moves.