In India, dancing, mainly classical dance; is believed to be equivalent to praying to the Lord. Each and every step is taken with so much precision that you can hardly find out even a single fault in it. While the classical dance styles in India can be traced back to centuries, the contemporary dance styles are relatively new on the block. The classical dancers brought fame to the country since ages and continue to do so. However, even the contemporary dancers of India are receiving international recognition today, and are being appreciated the world over. In this article, we have provided a complete list of the famous and celebrated dancers of India.
Classical Dances Of India
- Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form of India, with its roots laid in the southern Indian state, Tamil Nadu.
- Kathak literally means a story. It is narrative dance form, whose origin can be traced to northern India, more specifically Uttar Pradesh.
- Kathakali is a musical drama dance, which originated in Kerala.
- Kuchipudi originated in the Andhra Pradesh. The dance form has been named after the village of Kuchelapuram, near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, India.
- Manipuri dance evolved in the northeastern state of Manipur. It is a devotional dance form.
- Odissi dance form belongs to the eastern state of Orissa. It is the oldest surviving dance forms in India.
- Mohiniattam is the youngest of all classical dances in India. The roots of the dance form can be traced to Trivandrum, Kerala.
List of Famous Classical Indian Dancers
- Anita Ratnam (Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam and Kathakali)
- Chitra Vishweswaran (Bharatanatyam)
- Mallika Sarabhai (Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi)
- Padma Subramanyam (Bharatanatyam)
- Pandit Birju Maharaj (Kathak)
- Sonal Mansingh (Odissi)
- Yamini Krishnamurthy (Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi)
- T. Balasaraswati (Bharatanatyam)
- Indrani Rehman (Odissi)
- Protima Gowri (Odissi)
- Sitara Devi (Kathak)
- Shovana Narayan (Kathak)
- Radha Reddy (Kuchipudi)
- Raja Reddy (Kuchipudi)
- Anjana Rajan (Bharatanatyam)
- Purvi Sheth (Bharatanatyam)
- Rema Shrikant (Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam)
Contemporary Indian Dance Forms
Contemporary dance forms in India do not have a very long history. It is difficult to define this dance form as compared to the classical dance style of India, for the reason that the perception of ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ can greatly vary from one dancer to the other. Contemporary dance style seeks more of a personal expression. Uday Shankar, hailed as the Father of Modern Dance in India, incorporated different dance styles (including classical) in his choreography. He has also been appreciated for adapting Western theatrical techniques to traditional Indian classical dance, and combining it with elements of Indian folk and tribal dance, to lay the roots of contemporary Indian dance.
List of Famous Contemporary Indian Dancers
- Uday Shankar (Indian Ballet)
- Shiamak Dawar (Jazz and Contemporary Dance)
- Ashley Lobo (Jazz, Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance)
- Vaibhavi Merchant (Choreographer)
- Saroj Khan (Choreographer)
- Manjushree Chaki-Sarkar (Varied Choreographic Productions)
- Ranjabati Sarkar (Varied Choreographic Productions)