Indian dance is enchanting. Dancers swing, sing and step the floors, they move as a harmony of music. In this article, two ethnic dances will be described further in detail. They are Bharata Natyam and Mohiniattam. The Indian dance forms are quite unique and mostly tell hidden story about traditional life. It becomes one of the most valuable assets which should be maintained and appreciated for tradition. Being national pride, the presence of Indian dance could attract people to visit and enjoy artistic dance of heritage.

Bharata Natyam

This traditional dance was originally from Tamil Nadu. The dancers perform unique hand gestures, steps of the feet and sparkling eye movements. It has religious purpose for pleasing the deities residing in the temple. Let’s see the traditional sculpture in the temple; most of them were inspired by the dance of Bharata Natyam. The name of Bharata Natyam itself originally comes from four words with each meaning. Bhava means expression, rage refers to music, tala means rhythm and Natya refers to traditional Indian theatre.

Indian Dance Forms

This dance is considered as fire dance since it consists of three elements of Nritta, Nritya and Natya. The dancers of Bharata Natyam should be slender, skillful and beautiful. They have full of respect to the temples and people respect them. Symbolized as Devadasi, the dancers are thought to marry with the deity. Before performing dance, the dancers are adorned with special jewelries to maximize the performance.


It is regarded as expressive dance which originally comes from Kerala, India. Mohiniattam itself comes from two words: Mohini and Attam. They both have each meaning. Mohini means very beautiful woman while Attam means dance. Formerly this typical dance was performed in single but it then changes to be in group. It tells about romantic love and focuses on specific movement of hips and whole posture of body. The dance reminds people to the movement of swinging leaves of palm and the flowing river.

This dance is the newest classical dance in India. It was firstly found in the sixteenth century AD under the reign of Travancore king, Swati Thirunal who remarkably respected art and encouraged artisans to create their own unique idea for developing art and culture. In fact, there are two legends about Mohiniattam. Based on the legend of Hindu, it was related to the attempt of gods to escape great curse. This dance basically uses eye movement to sensually attract viewers to enjoy the dance. Last but not least, visiting India will be much worthy by seeing Indian dances.