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Folk Dance – History, Features and Types

Folk dance is a traditional form of dance popular among the masses. People’s natural attitudes, specific preferences, socio-geographical conditions, religious customs, movements in the daily activities of the people can be seen in folk dances.

Folk Dance

History of Folk Dance

Folk dances have evolved directly from folk life and the folk dancers who participate in them are not trained professional dancers. These dances are generally performed in group form and are mainly accompanied by percussion instruments, as well as folk music. It is a natural type of dance and an excess of flamboyant and attractive colors is seen in the costumes of the dancers. Simplicity is the soul of folk dance. Its movements are spontaneous and spontaneous. Although the movements are precise, their spontaneity makes them charming.

Folk dances are performed in the natural environment i.e. on the open fields, outside the village, in the mandap of the temple or in the premises. This is not theater art. So one cannot enjoy them in real sense just by sitting in theater. One has to take part in it by becoming one with the natural and social environment that is the background of that folk dance.

Features of folk dance

Most of the nations of the world have a rich and varied tradition of folk dance. The distinctive features that appear in the folk dances of the country are due to several reasons:

(1) The influence of the customs, manners, customs, folk cultures, as well as the daily activities of the people in the life from which they are developed, is seen in the formation of that particular folk dance style.

(2) The geographical position and climate of the region where they are produced also have an effect on the dance styles. For example, in the cold climates of northern Russia, Scandinavia, Scotland, dance movements are generally fast, lively, agile and energetic, as well as neat and well-defined.

Spain, Mexico, Southern Italy etc. where the climate is constantly changing, fickle and unstable. The dance-movements in places are intense, impulsive in nature. It will be seen that the movements of folk dances in hot climate regions like South India, Sri Lanka are generally languid, slow and flowing.

(3) Folk dance styles are also governed by the topography of the land on which people dance. For example, the dancers of the desert region make sudden, jerky movements and constantly shift their weight from one foot to the other. As if the hot sand of the desert does not allow the feet to bend, they make quick movements of the feet.

4) By the group dances of the people living in the fertile and prosperous region along the river, it seems as if the Subatta is overflowing. These dances involve large groups of dancers and are usually performed on festive days. Its atmosphere is cheerful, lively and happy.

5) In Europe these dances are associated with Christian festivals. Agricultural dances performed in different seasons as well as in the harvest season also fall under this category. These dances are very coordinated and regular movements. Various inventions of folk dances have been created over time in different cultures of the country and the country.

Types of Folk dance

There are many types of folk dances such as religious dances, animal dances, hunting dances, war dances, work related professional dances, social dances, romantic duets.

1. Religious Dances

In all stages of human history, different types of group dances have emerged as part of the ritual. Many primitive, as well as tribal dances, appear to have originated from primitive ritualistic rituals, religious ceremonies, and the inspiration to gain control over the mysterious unknown forces of nature. He was also inspired to subdue or subdue demonic forces such as ghosts and demons. Therefore, these dances are performed in a passionate state.

Some folk dances are also performed for the purpose of healing. This is also a form of dance. For example, the Italian folk dance “Tarantella” was performed as a treatment for the venomous bite of an ajastra spider called Tarantrutula. Reflections of tribal beliefs and related beliefs also seem to be reflected in the movements and motifs of folk dances.

2. Animal Dances

Primitive man worshiped birds, animals and fish. It was their belief that by imitating their movements, one can acquire their qualities of speed, agility, cunning, etc., thereby hunting them as soon as food is needed. This faith is also basically the same faith. Many interesting animal dances originated from these motives. In it, primitive man used to perform dances imitating different movements of birds and animals.

Australian, African and American aboriginal tribes had dances imitating the movements of lizards, turtles and harp birds. Snake and peacock dances are popular in India. Bear dances and seal dances are performed among the Finns and the Yakut tribe of Siberia.

Imitation dances of bears, bears and foxes are prevalent among North American-Indian tribes. Among the Georgian Cossack tribe, dances were performed in imitation of the eagle, balancing on the balls of the feet.

3. Hunting Dances

The evolution of animal dances is seen in hunting dances. These dances mimic the actions of a real hunter. Their movements mimic the movements of the hunter at different stages. Slow and cautious movements like sitting down, waiting for the instrument and grabbing it when it is captured are all imitations performed through dance.

These hunting dances are still prevalent among the American-Indian and African Negro tribes. The hunter’s introductory dances were originally created to make the expected hunt a success. Some war dances also feature hunting-like movements. E.g., Kharumi dance of the Circassian people.

4. War Dances

Tribal clans began to fight among themselves for control of fertile land, since then war dances became prevalent among tribal tribes. Such dances were performed to incite our tribe to war. These dances are still performed in some tribes.

Sword dances are performed in some tribes. Greek warrior dances featured sword duels and the wielding of clubs. In a dance in Scotland, swords are planted in the ground and dancers dance around them. Among the Vask and Slovak tribes, the war dance ends with the slaughter of the leader. In it swords are used like tirdis. Sometimes sword dancers wear wooden soles on their feet. E.g., clog dance.

5. Professional Folk Dances

When man began to settle in the fertile region along the river, his two main occupations were farming and animal husbandry. The specific stylistic reflection of these professional works, their movements as well as their daily activities was also revealed in his dances.

Dance was a form of ritual for primitive man. These dances were performed with the aim of enriching the crops. He believed that dancing would bring prosperity and well-being. In the fertile regions of Armenia and Ukraine, agricultural dances are performed during the farming season.

6. Indian Folk Dances

A long tradition of folk dances is found in tribal tribes and folk life of India. Nature and the movements of animals and birds are imitated through these folk dances. Ideally, the daily activities and movements of people’s lives are also given dance forms.

Indian folk dances are a treasure of national culture, and each region of India has various dances that reflect their regional characteristics. In Assam, Bihu and Vaishakh are the folk dances performed on those occasions.

The dances of the Naga tribe embody war-like movements and ideas of hunting. During the harvest season, men and women perform the ‘Khamba Lim’ dance in two rows. Agricultural dances of Borokachari tribe are famous.

Ankia Naat is a religious dance of Vaishnava sect in Assam. Manipurirasali dance brings out the spontaneous joy of life. Laiharoba is an ancient folk dance form in which Shiva Parvati is worshiped through dance.

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