Dance in India comprises many different styles of dances, basically classified as classical or folk. According to the Indian culture, different forms of dances originated in different parts of India, developed according to the local traditions and also imbibed elements from other parts of the country. Sangeet Natya Academy, which is the national academy for performing arts in India, is recognized as eight traditional dances as Indian classical dances, while other sources and scholars recognize more. These have roots from the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra, and the religious performance arts of Hinduism. Folk dances are numerous in number and has various style and vary according to the local tradition of the different states, ethnic or geographic regions.

Dances during that time included refined and experimental fusions of classical, folk and Western forms. Dancing traditions of India have influence not only over the dances in the whole of South Asia, but on the dancing forms of South East Asia as well. Dances in Indian films like Bollywood Dance for Hindi films, are often noted for freeform expression of dance and hold a significant presence in popular culture of the Indian subcontinent. A classical dance is one whose these theory, cultyre.training, means and rationale for expressive practice is documented and Pragathi traceable to ancient classical texts, particularly the Natya Shastra.

Classical Indian dances have historically involved a school or guru-shishya pratha(teacher-disciple tradition) and acquire studies of the classical texts, physical exercises and extensive training to systematically synchronize the dance repertoire with underlying play or composition, vocalists and the orchestra. A folk Indian dance is one which is largely an oral tradition, whose traditions have been historically learnt and mostly passed down from one generation to the other generations through word of mouth and casual joint practice. A semi-classical Indian dance is one that contains a classical imprint but has become a folk dance and lost its texts or schools. A tribal dance is a more local form of folk dance, typically found in one tribal population,also tribal dances evolve into folk dances over a historic period. Folk dances and plays in India has retained significance in rural areas as the expression of the daily work and rituals of village communities. Sanskrit literature of the medieval times describes several forms of group dance such as Hallisaka, Rasaka, Dand Rasaka and Charchari. The Natya Shastra includes the group dances of women as a preliminary dance performed in prelude to a drama.

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