Dance means a series of movements and steps that match the speed and rhythm of the music. Dance is an art form. All Indian art is inspired by some inner urge. Indian art has the potency to enrapture the human beings. The Indian dance possesses charm. It is soul-stirring. Dance has a thrilling and magical effect on human beings. In dance, the human soul urges and his inner drives are expressed in rhythmic body movements.

The Indian dances have their aesthetic foundations in spiritual Sadhana. Lord Shiva, the Natraj is not only the Supreme Dancer but also the originator of dance. Shiva’s cosmic dance (Tandava Britya) is very famous. As the god of rhythm and movements, Lord Shiva dances both in sorrow and joy. He is also a stern judge and an upholder of justice and righteousness. His Tandava dance is performed at the termination of the age and reflects his violent nature. Indian dances are famous all over the world.

Out of 180 styles of Indian dancing, 101 are described in the Natyashastra. We can see many of these dance styles depicted on the walls and pillars of some of the famous Indian Temples. Indian dances are highly developed and stylized because the whole body and soul are involved in them. They are the proud heritage of India. Bharat Natyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, and Odissi are the famous classical Indian dances.

The subtle Bharat Natyam is popular in South India. reeling, melody, and rhythm play the most vital role in it. This oldest dance style is associated with Lord Shiva. This solo and most complicated dance enjoy wide popularity. It was performed by Devadasis in the temples of South India. This dance is based on the theme of love but it is devotional in essence. It is never sensual. It concludes with the chanting of a sloka. It is unique in delicacy, grace, consummation, and richness.

Kathak is a major classical dance form. It is performed both by men and women in North India. It has a lot of scope for improvisation. The dancer can change his or her sequence Of stages to suit individual style: and aptitude. It makes great use of a number of Hindustani musical compositions. It begins with the invocation to God. Tne performer combines mime with music and dance.

Kathakali has universal appeal and popularity. It is fundamentally of epic dimensions. It is performed in an open-air in. the courtyard. It is accompanied by the continuous thundering of the drums. Kathakali costumes are gorgeous and ornamental.

The Manipuri dance is full of devotional fervor. It is performed to the singing of songs and kirtans and to the accompaniment of a drum, cymbals and a bamboo flute. Its lyrical quantity and rhythmic spinning coupled with soft vocal and instrumental devotional music cannot be described in words. The Manipuri dance performers wear an ornamental costume.

The Odissi dance is highly sensuous. It is deeply rooted in traditions and rituals. It is performed to the accompaniment of rhythmic vocal syllables blended into drum beats. It represents a fine synthesis of Lasya and Tandava style of Indian classical dance. It provides the performers and the viewers a spiritual joy.

The Indian folk and tribal dances lack stylization. They are solely for pleasure and enjoyment. They are characterized by a lack of restraint. They suit all occasions and are inspired by legend and religion.