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Folk Dances of India Unity in Diversity

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Item Code: HAM821
Author: Shovana Narayan
Publisher: Shubhi Publications, Gurgaon
Language: English
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9788182902947
Pages: 229 (Color and B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 12x9.5 inch
Weight 1.40 kg
Book Description
About the Book

Folk Dances of India is a comprehensive and detailed study of the bewildering diversity of folk dances that forms the landscape of Indian art panorama. The book has a very wide coverage for in addition to discussing a number of folk dance forms pertaining to the various states of India, it also dwells on occasions and themes for folk dances, folk dances as part of folk theatre, associated festivals, formations and patterns, martial arts as well as a discussion on the tribes involved. It encapsulates the ethos and motivations behind celebrations that lead to expression in dance. It also incorporates discussion on the related subjects of use of masks, costumes and puppetry traditions as well as musical instruments that are commonly used by folk artistes in different parts of India. This book will undoubtedly serve as an encyclopedia for Indian Folk Dance Traditions.

About the Author

Shovana Narayan is one of the outstanding classical dancers of India. For her incomparable contribution to the Kathak style of classical dance, she has been decorated with several awards, including Government of Indian's coveted Padmashri and Sangeet Natak Akademi awards. She has bestowed Kathak with dignity and enriched it with a deeper and wider canvas of expression and dimensions. She is at once, an explorer, a performer, a choreographer and an artiste par excellence, with values and a cause. The explorer and researcher within her have seen her author 10 books on Indian dance, which bespeak of intensity, depth and gravity. She has also worked closely with nationally and internationally acclaimed Indian and western dancers and musicians from various streamns of art. Shovana's palette contains other media, including films and operas as well as being a dedicated guru whose disciples are creating their niche in the world of Kathak that once again, bears testimony to the intensive training being imparted by her.

She is also a senior serving civil servant belonging to the Indian Audits and Accounts Service (1976 batch).

Married to Dr. Herbert Traxl, Former Austrian Ambassador, the two have a son, Erwin Ishan Traxl. Her younger sister, Ranjana Narayan is a lawyer and a classical singer.


Dance had always been an integral part of life and India, with its mind-boggling diversity in terms of people, race, caste, creed, diverse faiths and of social organizations and structuring, is home to a bewildering but colourful mosaic of folk dance traditions. This panorama includes the dance traditions of tribal groups representing the tribal belt that rungs across the length and breadth of the country, the folk legacy of the agricultural and pastoral communities that inhabit the hills, plains and coastal areas and the art forms of specialized groups who form part of village communities as they serve as craftsmen, entertainers, musicians and dancers and are therefore, the chief repositories of a living oral tradition. Thus folk comprises the common people, inhabiting both, the urban and the rural areas. Quite a few of these folk dances, from the staggering multiplicity of folk traditions that represents India, can be traced back to prehistoric times.


When I was approached to write the book on Folk Dance Traditions, I was in a dilemma. Should I or should I not, was the question. After all, I was a classical dancer and what did I know of the entire world of Folk Dance? I was as ignorant as anyone else. However, it was the dancer in me that was curious. It urged me to explore the unknown. Perhaps, somewhere, the Physics background provided the much needed rationality and discipline in the path of knowing the unknown. Once having taken on the responsibility and that to, with a few months' deadline, I set out on my voyage of discovery.

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