How many traditional dances are there in India?

Traditional dance in India is an integral part of the country's rich cultural heritage and identity. Although India recognizes only six classical dances nationally, regional dance styles are equally popular in many areas and have a rich history. India's six classical dance forms are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, and Odissi. These dance styles have been preserved for centuries and are deeply rooted in Indian tradition and mythology. Moreover, a traditional dance in India is not just a form of entertainment but is also considered a discipline and a way to devote oneself to God through art. The folk dances of India are also much more than just body movements and are a way to celebrate and express cultural diversity.

Among these traditional dances, Bharatanatyam is considered the oldest form of traditional Indian dance and is believed to have originated in Tamil Nadu. This dance form is an orchestrated combination of facial expressions, hand gestures, eye movements, and dance steps that are precisely choreographed. The dance is usually performed with Carnatic music, which complements the movements and expressions of the dancer. When performing Bharatanatyam, dancers often wear costumes in two distinct designs: the pyjama style and the skirt design. Additionally, they typically wear heavy jewelry and makeup, enhancing their stage presence.

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