The 8 classical dances of India

At the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, we had to say goodbye to October by discovering new secrets of Asian culture. Today we are travelling to India to get to know its 8 classical dance styles. Are you joining us?

There are many types of dances in India, but only 8 of them are considered as classical dances. These ones are:

Bharatanatyam. This classical dance comes from Tamil Nadu. As many other classical Indian dances, the expression of the body, especially face and hands, is very important. Dancers use their hands to do mudras and in this way tell a story.

Kathak. This dance tells stories through movements. Most stories are related to deities. Its origin dates back to the nomad dances practiced in North India. As most classical dances in India, there are two types of dances: Nritta (pure dance) and Nritya (expressive dance).

Odissi. Originated in Odisha, this is one of the most ancient Indian dances. It is different from the rest of classical dances due to the importance given to Tribhangi (tri-bent pose); a standing body position consisting of three bends in the body: at the neck, chest and pelvis.

Mohiniyattam. This dance comes from Kerala and dates back to the sixteenth century. It is characterized by swaying movements of the upper body. There are over 40 basic movements called atavukal. This dance can also be split up into Nritta and Nritya.

Kuchipudi. Originated in Andhra Pradesh, this dance is very similar to Bharatanatyam. As many other classical dances, Kuchipudi tells sacred stories; most of them related to Krishna. It gives importance to facial expressions.

Manipuri. As it name says, this classical dance comes from Manipur. There is a strong religious content in the stories Manipuri tells, in this case related to Vishnu. Unlike other Indian dances, manipuri does not use ankle bracelets with bells to mark the rhythm; dancers play a pung instead.

Sattriya. This dance comes from Assan. It was created to help spread Vaishnavism. Sattriya performs mythological stories. In the past, this dance was just performed by monks as part of their everyday routine, but throughout the years outsiders were able to dance it too.

Kathakali. This is the classical dance form of Kerala. It combines movements and drama. It is known for its elaborated makeup and costumes.

If you visit the 5 stars resort in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, don´t miss the chance to participate in the activities, courtesy of the hotel, we offer our guests. Yoga, pilates, Tai Chi… It´s your choice!