India – a country of rich cultural heritage that fascinates the world with its diversity. Indian religions have shaped its culture. Over the centuries, there has been fusion of cultures between different religions and tribal populations of India. Besides many, Dance is one of the most important elements that represent India’s diverse culture in the globe. It is believed that the origin of different Indian dance forms can be traced back to the age old Hindu Sanskrit texts Nātyaśāstra (Science of Dance) and Abhinaya Darpana (Mirror of Gesture) and gradually it evolved into the formal status of Eight classical dance forms( though the number varies depending upon the source and scholars). According to India’s National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, these eight classical dance forms are Bharatnatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, Kathak of Uttar Pradesh, Kathakali and Mohiniattam of Kerala, Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, Manipuri of Manipur, Odissi of Odisha and Sattriya of Assam.
A brief description of these dance forms are as follows with reference to Wikipedia:
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