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Folk dances are the regional dance forms indigenous to the state of Odisha, Odisha is a state in India’s eastern region. It is situated near the Bay of Bengal. This state is well-known for its diverse cultural history, particularly its tribal culture and ancient Hindu temples and landscapes. It’s considerably greater than life. Several of the most prominent dance traditions originated in Odisha, you can check the various forms of folk dances of Odisha with pictures in the below article.

Important Folk Dances of Odisha

Check the various important Folk dances of Odisha in the below given table.

Dance formDescription
Bhaagha DanceBhaagha dance is a traditional folk dance of Rajasthan, India. It is performed during special occasions and festivals, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the region. The dance involves vibrant movements, colorful costumes, and energetic music.
Goti PuaGoti Pua is a classical dance form originating from the state of Odisha, India. It is performed exclusively by young boys dressed in female attire. The dance features acrobatic movements, complex footwork, and expressive gestures, accompanied by melodious music.
Dhalkai DanceDhalkai dance is a folk dance native to the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India. It is performed during agricultural festivals and ceremonies. The dance portrays the joy and happiness of the farmers and their gratitude towards nature through rhythmic movements.
Chhau DanceChhau dance is a traditional tribal dance practiced in the eastern states of India, primarily Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal. It combines elements of martial arts, folk dance, and theatrical performances. Colorful masks and costumes are integral to this dance form.
Ghumura DanceGhumura dance is a traditional folk dance originating from the Kalahandi district of Odisha, India. It is performed by both men and women, wielding small circular drums called “Ghumuras.” 
Paika DancePaika dance is an ancient martial dance form that emerged in the state of Odisha, India. Historically, it was performed by warrior communities to showcase their martial skills and bravery. The dance involves wielding weapons and rhythmic footwork accompanied by powerful music.

Folk Dances of Odisha with Pictures

Folk dances of Odisha are spectacular and a visual delight,you can check the various dance forms below.

Bhaagha Naacha Dance

Bhaagha Naacha dance also known as Tiger Dance, is a Sambalpuri folk dance that is commonly performed in the Odisha districts of Binika and Sonepur. A male-only dance form in which the performers paint their bare bodies with yellow and black stripes in the shape of a tiger and attach a tail. Drums and the bell are the major instruments used in this dance form of Odisha.

bhaagha naacha dance

Goti Pua Dance

The Gotipua dance is a variation of the Odissi dance. This dance form is performed by boys posing as girls. It began in response to the criticism of some Vaishnav (Hindu sect that considers Vishnu to be the supreme deity) followers who were unsatisfied with women dancing as an appearance for worship. It was established in Puri by Ramchandra Deva. The boys begin training at the age of six and continue until they are fourteen.

goti pua dance

Dhalkai Dance

Dalkhai dance form highlights events and circumstances from Radha and Krishna romance, Ramayana, and Mahabharata. It is a collaborative effort that involves forward and backward movement in a half-sitting position, as well as the construction of concentric circles clockwise and anticlockwise. The dance is performed to the accompaniment of magnificent orchestra music generated by dhol, Nisan, Tamki, Tasa, and Mahuri instruments.

dhalkai dance

Chhau Dance

It is one of the most popular art forms and is based on martial arts. During this dance, two groups of warriors fight and defend themselves alternately, demonstrating powerful motions and positions in the process. In the dance form, Shields are carried by the dancers. It’s a dance competition. The actors in the battle the stage wear colourful masks that depict a personality.

The music is strong and full of rhythmic shifts. The instruments used are the Mahuri, which is a double-reeded instrument, and the Dhola, which is a barrel-shaped two-sided drum.

chhau dance

Ghumura Dance

It is called Ghumra Dance, This dancing form has a long history. It is shown in the Konark Sun Temple, proving that it has been there since medieval times. It was once a combat dance and was regarded as a “heroic dance.”It gradually evolved into a dance for cultural and social objectives. Dhol, Taal, Madal, and Nishan are among the instruments utilized. It is distinguished as a symbol of love, dedication, worldwide brotherhood, and fraternity. 

ghumura dance

Paika Dance

Paika dance is an extremely energising dancing style that is only performed by young boys or men. This dance form has its roots in eastern Odisha and is derived from the Sanskrit word Padatika, which means the infantry. It is filled with physical drills and is done while listening to the dhol while holding a sword and shield in each hand. 

paika dance

Danda Nacha Dance

Danda nacha, a dance that punishes the body with religious ardour, is widely observed throughout the state. Both the dhuli danda and the pani danda, which are conducted in the ground and the water respectively, are demanding but done with complete dedication. This dance, which is dedicated to the Goddess, utilizes drums and cymbals. Only men can perform Kali. In particular, the Ganjam district in south Odisha celebrates the danda nacha.

danda nacha dance

Folk Dances of Odisha FAQs

What is Danda Nacha dance?

Danda Nacha is a traditional folk dance form of Odisha, India. It is performed by male dancers, and it involves intricate footwork and acrobatic movements. The dance is often dedicated to Lord Shiva and is performed during religious festivals.

What is Goti Pua dance? 

Goti Pua is a classical dance form of Odisha, primarily performed by young boys dressed in female attire. It has its roots in the ancient Gotipua tradition, which later influenced the development of Odissi classical dance. 

What is Chhau dance in Odisha? 

Chhau dance in Odisha is a traditional martial dance form that combines elements of dance, drama, and acrobatics. It is performed by skilled artists who wear elaborate masks and vibrant costumes.

What is Paika dance? 

Paika dance is a folk dance form from Odisha that originated from the martial arts practiced by the Paika warriors of the region. It is a powerful and vigorous dance style that showcases mock battle sequences and rhythmic movements.

Are these dance forms only performed in Odisha?

While these dance forms have their origins in Odisha, they have gained recognition and popularity beyond the state’s borders. Danda Nacha, Goti Pua, Chhau, and Paika dance are performed in various cultural events.

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