Ingraining rich heritage of diverse cultures is represented with only one name, India.  Isn’t true? Yes, India is a land of age old traditions and one such example is classical dance styles. Indian, has variety of popular and most loved classical dance styles which is preserved with utmost care.

An interesting thing to have a look is, the Natya Shastra. It is the foundation for all Indian classical dance forms existing now. The ancient scholor Bharata Muni was the one who wrote Natya Shastra and is considered as the father of Indian theatrical art forms.

Today, the growth of Indian classical dance styles is immense that it has crossed boundaries to reach westerners too. Now, lets us have a look at top classical dance styles of India.

# Bharata Natyam:

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One of the oldest dance style which is belongs to Tamil Nadu is  Bharata Natyam. This popular Indian Classical dance form was called as Dasiattam, Sadir, and Thanjavur Natyam in ancient times. This dance form demands a fixed upper torso along with bent knees, high hand gestures and immense facial as well as eye expressions. Usually, this dance is accompanied with a vocalist and persons playing musical instruments. Do you know that Bharata Natyam was exclusively performed in Temples earlier? In fact, Britishers banned this fantastic art form but couldn’t sustain as there were high protest against this law. Now, Bharata Natyam has not only stepped out of temples but have crossed borders to attract westerners to learn this most popular Indian classical dance style.

# Kathak:

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Rooting back to ancient northern Indian, Kathak git its name from vedic Sanskrit word “Katha” meaning story. This one of the popular Indian classical dance form focuses on fast rhythmic footwork with complex cycle movements. As similar to Bharata Natyam, Kathak is also accompanied by musical instruments namely Tabla, Pakwaj, Harmonium,Talam and Sarengi. Mughals enjoyed this art form and hence Kathak became a sophisticated chamber art for them.

# Kathakali:

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One of the high expressive dance form that belongs to the state Kerala is Kathakali. Being performed in a group, each dancers take various roles which is based mostly on hindhu Mythology. This popular dance form demands elaborate make up which requires hours for the artists to paint their faces. Highly developed language of hand gestures,body movements, rigorous footworks and intense eye movements are the must in this traditional dance form, Kathakali.

# Kuchipudi:

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A well know classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh is Kuchipudi. This Kuchipudi name in fact have an interesting origin, this name got its birth from the name of a village “Kuchelapuram”. The residents of this village, mainly brahmins practised this dance form. Kuchipudi movements are faster than any other dance forms. Mridangam, Veena, Flute,Violin and Talam are some of the musical instruments accompanying this dance form.

 # Oddisi:

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Got originated from ancient northern India, the name Odissi  refers to the dance style of Orissa. This fantastic art form faced its challenging times to survive in 1930s and 40s. Soem of the musical instruments that accompany this top classical dance form are flute, tabla, Pakwa, harmonium and cymbals.