Traditional Dance Of West Bengal | Classical and Folk Dance

West Bengal’s culture has always been a great and memorable part of India, and one big reason for that is the traditional dance forms that exist in that part of the country. Now, if you are here just to get to know more about these traditional dance forms from West Bengal then you are in the right place because we are about to delve into just that. Here we go.

1. Chhau Dance


Ever heard of it? It’s one of those traditional folk dances of India that really makes you go ‘wow.’ This isn’t just any dance, it’s like a mix of martial arts, athleticism, and a bit of drama, all rolled into one. In this dance form, dancers reenact stories from those big-time Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. But yeah, the real showstopper here? The masks! They are super vibrant and represent various characters from the epics. Imagine seeing that up close, a total visual treat, right?

2. Kushan Dance

Alright, moving on to Kushan dance. This one’s a real oldie, dating way back to the 15th century. It’s all about storytelling, and you guessed it, the Ramayana is in the spotlight. Here’s the fun part though, it’s all men in this dance, even playing the women’s roles. Kinda adds a quirky twist, don’t you think? And the main lead, the ‘mool’ or the lead artist, he’s not just dancing, he’s throwing in jokes, making sharp comments, really keeping everyone hooked.

3. Kirtan Dance

Alright, next let’s talk about Kirtan Dance, which has been around for a whopping 500 years. Yeah, you heard it right, half a millennium! This isn’t just any ordinary dance, it’s a spiritual journey that’s all about Lord Krishna. Now, imagine this, dancers are circling up, hands raised high, and they’re totally lost in singing hymns. But yeah, there’s more, it’s the beat of drums that really gets your heart racing. It’s not just about the dance moves, it’s the devotion that comes alive in this dance. Kirtan, you see, is way more than dance; it’s bhakti-yoga, a way to express that inner spiritual devotion.

4. Gambhira Dance

Moving on to Gambhira Dance, and oh boy, this one’s a real gem. Originally, it was all about those agricultural rituals, but guess what? It’s transformed into something way bigger, a devotion to Goddess Shakti. Now, here’s the catch: it’s usually a grandpa (that’s the nana) and his granddaughter (the nati) who steal the show. They’re not just grooving, they’re deep into poetic dialogues and get this, they’re talking about society and all its nitty-gritty. It’s like a drama and a documentary rolled into one.

5. Brita Dance

Now, here’s something that’s straight outta rural Bengal and it’s kinda special. We’re talking about Brita Dance, yeah? This one’s all about showing gratitude, where mostly women take the center stage. They dance to give a big thanks to the deities, mainly when they wanna ask for blessings for being fertile or maybe to just be thankful for getting over some sickness. And yeah, the whole vibe gets even more lively with those colorful costumes and the whole devout scene in the temples where this dance happens. It’s not just a treat for the eyes, but it hits right in the feels too.

6. Tusu Dance

Alright, moving on to Tusu Dance, this one’s a real blast during the Pausa month. It’s like this big festive party marking the start of the harvest season. In this dance form, groups of girls dance by the riverside, doing their thing to worship Goddess Tusu. They’ve got offerings, prayers, and whatnot, all just to bag themselves a good life partner. This dance isn’t just about the steps or the music, nah, it’s the whole joy and togetherness of the community that really shows what Bengal’s festive culture is all about. Trust us, it’s something else!

7. Baul Dance

Yeah, so have you ever heard about the Baul Dance? It’s this incredible dance form that’s totally woven into the fabric of West Bengal’s spiritual scene. What’s really mesmerizing here is the blend, like how they mix up singing with these swirling dance moves. And the Iktara, that’s the musical heartbeat of it all, you know? The way this dance captures the mysticism and spirituality, it’s something out of this world, showing off the deep-rooted religious vibes of the Baul folks.

8. Dhali Dance

Moving on to Dhali Dance, now this one’s a whole different dance style. This one is a martial folk dance, all about the sheer strength and skill of Bengali warriors. These dancers are not just dancing, they’re in a fierce stick fight, keeping up with this intense rhythm. It’s not just a dance, it’s like a celebration, a powerful tribute to Bengal’s martial history.

Other Notable Dances

  • Mundari
  • Gajan
  • Durga Puja Dhunuchi
  • Bratachari
  • Laghur Nritya
  • Dhali
  • Paika Nritya
  • Natua
  • Lathi
  • Raibense
  • Nabanna
  • Santhal
  • Rabha
  • JhumurGanga Baidya


There you have it. We hope you liked this list of the popular and most common traditional dances of West Bengal. Every dance form we mentioned today is a direct indication of how culturally rich West Bengal is, which makes it a stand-out state in the country.

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