The folk dances of West Bengal are a reflection of the rich cultural heritage of West Bengal.  The various folk dances of this state are known for their enthusiasm and beauty.

Each region of West Bengal has something different to display. Dance is a part of the tribal lifestyle.

Various folk dances performed in different parts of the state and during different occasions create an atmosphere of great celebration and entertainment.

Apart from various folk dances of the state, the Rava dance also is one of the famous folk dances of West Bengal in the northern parts of the state.

Likewise, The folk dances in this state were initially either devotional or agricultural.

The major folk dances of Bengal

  • Brita Dance
  • Chhau Dance
  • Gambhira Dance
  • Tusu Dance
  • Santhal Dance
  • Lathi Dance
  • Rava Dance
  • Kirtan Dance
  • Kushan Dance
  • Alkap Dance
  • Gajan Dance
  • Mech Dance
  • Rabha Dance
  • Rajbansi Dance
  • Ganga Baidya Dance
  • Raibense Dance
  • Ranpa Dance
  • Bau Nritya
  • Chaibari Nritya
  • Pata Nach
  • Baul Dance
  • Dhali Dance
  • Dhamail Dance
  • Noila Brato Dance
  • Kathi Dance
  • Marasia Dance
  • Jatra Dance
  • Mahal Dance

Brita Dance

Brita dance

Brita folk dance is one of the popular traditional folk dances of West Bengal.

However, Women of Bengal, who are unable to give birth to children perform this dance.

But only women perform this dance after giving birth to children as a sign of bowing down to God.

 However, Rural Bengal only follows.

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Chhau dance or Purulia Chhau is another major folk dance.

Moreover, The Purulia district of West Bengal state performs this dance.

But this folk dance is quite different from other Chhau dances.

 So, Male dancers in Bengal perform this dance by wearing a mask.

It is also a mythological dance, as it is mainly based on various episodes of the great epic of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

Many Bengali films use this dance.

Gambhira dance

Gambhira dance is one of the most famous folk dances of Bengal

Gambhira dance is also one of the most famous folk dances of Bengal, which enhances the rich culture of West Bengal.

Gambhira dance is also one of the famous devotional folk dances of Bengal.

Firstly it is very popular in North Bengal, especially in the Malda district.

The dancer wears a mask while giving a solo performance.

Tusu Dance

Tusu Dance

One of them is the Tusu dance of the Birbhum district.

But performing in the Pausha month of the Hindu calendar during December and January.

Both men and women can do this dance.

It is also popular in Purulia and Medinipur.

Santhal Dance

Santhal Dance

So, the most widely visited Indian tribes are Santhals.

But The Santhal tribe walks with musical melodies to celebrate the glory of nature, pray and deliver a message.

Lathi dance

Lathi dance

Lathi dance is also a form of folk dance with different art of expression.

 Repentance, celebration, anger, pain, or love is expressed in this dance.

Moreover, The moves of the lathi dance dancers clearly beautifully define each expression.

So Dancer dance In the first ten days of the Muharram (Muslim festival)

But mostly of youth performs this dance.

But Lathi dance is actually a half dance and half a type of play.

Rava dance

The Rava dance is one of the famous folk dances of West Bengal in the northern parts of the state.

The Rava dance is also one of the famous folk dances of West Bengal in the northern parts of the state.

So, Women belonging to the Rava community perform this dance.

Moreover, the Rava dance is rhythmic, colorful, and melodious.

The theme of Rava folk dance also includes work, many festivals, and daily life.

Kirtan dance

Kirtan dance

Kirtan folk dance form is one of the best forms of devotion.

The introduction of this dance is nearly about  500 years ago.

According to mythology,  Narada Muni introduced this dance.

But this dance pays homage to Lord Krishna.

Moreover, the god appeared before the dancer’s eyes as if the devotees sang out and danced out their love and affection for their lord.

This dance has many elements of for example music, expression, drama, and many more.

The dancers feel the melody of music and dance and express themselves accordingly.

The kirtan dance is quite simple while raising and lowering hands-on musical beat.

Kushan Dance

Kushan Dance

Kushan folk dance is a traditional form of dance revolving around the Ramayana. The word kush refers to straw and aan refers to bring into Bengali.

KU means bad and Shaan means wiping out .so the word means to wipe out evil forces. The male dancer performs this dance. 

Male dancer known as sokra enact their roles by singing and dancing and female dancer dressed as dances.

Use Harmonium, kajal, flute .

To understand the dialogues spoken by the subject and the lead dancer or native.

Before the performance, they do an Ashar bandana for God’s blessings.


Alkap Dance

Alkap Dance

The rural area of West Bengal and is especially in Malda, Murshidabad, Birbhum, and Rajshahi perform this dance.

Dance is associated with the Gajan festival of Shiva.

The group consists of chorus artists, dancers, and singers. In alkap folk dance, there are ten to twelve dancers and they perform five parts.

The dancer highlights the social and economic condition of rural West Bengal.


Gajan dance

Gajan dance

Gajan dancers dance during the gajan festival celebrated in the rural part of West Bengal.

The dancer paints their faces to imitate different god and play mythological stories.

The dance praise Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Mech dance

Mech dance

The mech folk dance is also the famous dance of north Bengal.


But mostly performed mostly in the Jalpaiguri district.

Female dancers dress up in colorful costumes like butterflies.


Rabha dance

Rabha dance

The female tribes of the Rabha community of west Bengal perform Rabha folk dance and males play the bamboo flute and other musical instruments.

The dancer also performs different dances on different occasions like welcome dance, new year dance, and war dance.

Rajbansi dance

Rajbansi dance

The Rajbanshi is one of the many tribes of North Bengal.

However, the lives of the human beings belonging to the Rajbanshi tribe revolve across the Teesta River, which they worship as a Goddess.

The Teesta flows down the snow-capped peaks of Darjeeling, through the dense forests of Jalpaiguri.

This swish dance is also performed to invoke the blessings of the River Goddess.

The Dhol, Kanshi, Kartal, and Mukhabanshi are the devices that accompany this invocatory dance.

Ganga Baidya dance

Ganga Baidya is a dance of the snake charmers.

So the dance offers expression to the everyday lives, customs, hopes, and aspirations in addition to the rigors and tribulations of this sect of humans of rural Bengal.

The Bedes were a nomadic tribe who moved from area to area.

But earn their living by using singing their songs and showing acrobatic tricks – with fire, knives, sticks, and ropes.

Moreover, worshippers of Ma Manasha use snakes for a selection of tricks.

Through their songs and dances, the fearless Bedes sold snake venom and talismans to the villagers, promising them that those could keep evil away.

Raibense Dance

Raibense Dance

The Raibense dance that’s performed by a set of male dancers is part of the repertoire of the ‘Bratachari’ lifestyle of West Bengal.

The Raibense dance of ancient Bengal is an enormous as well as genuine reminder that the Bengalis were once renowned for his or her army prowess.

So the dance belongs to a living lifestyle of the war dances of historic Bengal.

Rai means royal, kingly, and bansh or bansha means bamboo.

This was used by the infantry soldiers in the middle ages.

This vigorous dance form includes mock fighting and acrobatics.

But It speaks volumes approximately the valor of the people of historical Bengal.

Dhol and Kanshi are the primary instruments used.

The strident rhythmic notes of the Dhol and the clanging of the Kanshi generate courage and daring within the hearts of the dancers.

No songs are sung or verses recited for the duration of this martial dance.

As a substitutelively yells mark the various sectional moves.

The most effective dress, a dhoti (which is the traditional dress of Bengali guys) is worn with a strip of red material signifying spirit and valor.

Ranpa dance

Ranpa dance

The Ranpa is a special type of dancing phenomenon found in India which has its roots in martial arts.
But on this dance, the artists stroll and dance, perform mock fights, and showcase complex talents.
In Bankura, that is the standard dance of the Mundari clan.
Only the male artists take part in this dance, which is accompanied by musical instruments like ‘madal’ and ‘dramas.
Dance is its inherent heroic and epic qualities, and particularly the stability of the body on bamboo sticks.
From earlier timesthe use of the Ranpa became a means of travel.
In this dance, the dancers stability themselves on lengthy Bamboo sticks and dance with the notes of drums.

This dance is extensively practiced within the Burdwan and Midnapore districts of West Bengal in India.


Bou Nritya

Bou Nritya
That is a part of the traditional Badhubaran rite of Srihatta.
Bou Nritya enacts the custom of asking a new bride to bounce, a procedure of helping her shed her inhibitions.
The dancers put on ornaments regularly in this area and drape the sari in a different manner.
The distinguishing characteristic of this dance is that the dancers by no means lift their feet off the ground during the complete overall performance.

 In this dance of initiation, the brand-new bride is welcomed into her new own family.


Chaibari Nritya

The Chaibari Nritya, as the call shows, is a dance mastered by using the tea lawn employees of Nothern Bengal.
The dancers, with their complicated costumes and jewelry, make for a picture-ideal sight within the breathtaking backdrop of the verdant tea gardens.

The melodious tune provides the allure and splendor of the dance.


Pata Naach

Pata Naach

Pata Naach is a famous dance shape of Purulia.
This dance is historically held at some stage in the month of Bhadra (give up of monsoon) accompanied through Bhaduria Jhumur songs.
The dancers carry out this dance in a line.
The village girls dance with their palms entwined.

The men accompany them with dhamsa, madal, flute, and so forth.


Baul dance

Baul dance
Baul songs are religious in subject matter, bauls at one stage begin dancing in ecstasy.
They preserve an ektara of their right hand.
Some wear ghubur (a string of bells) spherical their ankles.
Usually, baul dances are accomplished through individualsbut in instances in addition they carry out duets or group dances at their akhda.
The ektara performs a distinguished element inside the dance, every so often being held near the ears, on occasion excessive up.

This dance is especially popular in the Birbhum districts of West Bengal.

The Bauls belong to a sect with a unique mystic ideology of their own and their songs spread the message of peace and conventional brotherhood.

The phrase ‘Baul’ manner mad, the madness that comes out of an awesome love for the endless Self.
 The Bauls have performed a prime role in Indian freedom warfare.
They moved from village to village in rural Bengal with their songs stirring up a sense of nationalism and satisfaction in our motherland a few of the illiterate village people.
Both men and women (Bauls and Baulanis) are part of this wonderful track subculture.

Today the Bauls’ songs can be heard in lots of districts of West Bengal as their footsteps dot the muddy village lanes of Bankura, Birbhum, Burddhaman, Nadia, Dinajpur, and Murshidabad.


Dhali Dance

Dhali Dance | folk dances of west bengal
Dhali dance is some other heroic folk dance of West Bengal.
Throughout ancient times, after winning the struggle the fatigued and exhausted soldiers danced using swords in contentment with a view to encourage themselves for yet another other war.
The Dhali Dance, as the name implies, is the shield Dance.
It became the battle dance of the Dhali (shield man) troupes in the armies of the historic potentates of Bengal.
Within the Dhali Dance, the dazzling moves are formal and are more in the nature of athletic exercises.
Being a warfare dance, it is not followed by any songs.
After prevailing in a war, the fatigued and exhausted soldiers started dancing with swords and shields within the cantonment to inspire themselves for the following struggle.
Over time, the dance form has been changed extending to women dancers as well.


Dhamail Dance

Dhamail Dance | folk dances of west bengal

Dhamail is a folk dance performed by married ladies of rural Bengal and a famous folk dance of West Bengal.

The women set up themselves in a circle, around a certain object of prayer, clapping to the beats of the song.
At the same time as praying to the sun God, a lit Diya, symbolizing the sun, is kept at the center.

The clapping brings a rhythmic element into the otherwise gradual-paced dance.


Noila Broto Dance

Farming is a crucial part of the lives of villagers in rural Bengal.
After a day‘s toil, the villagers frequently sing and dance as a welcome wreck from their daily routine of labor and hard work.
In most parts of rural India, agriculture continues to be dependent on the rains.
This prayer dance, regarding rituals and services, celebrates the appearance of the first monsoon clouds.

So the farmers and their better halves pray for a terrific monsoon on the way to bring aboutplentiful harvest of crops, ushering in prosperity and happiness.


Kathi Dance

Kathi dance is a folk dance of West Bengal.

In dance, you can see the beautiful hand and leg coordination.

The Kathi dance is performed by members of the lower castes.

It is usually done by men.

The dance has rhythmic footwork with the beating of sticks by the performers.

This dance is well popular at the time of Durga puja.

During this festival, the performers also carry lamps while dancing.

The dancer dresses in shirts made out of leopard skin and Dhotis.


Marasia Dance

It is also a tribal dance.

Male dancers dance in their groups.

Jatra Dance

Jatra Dance

Jatra is a form of entertainment in Odisha and West Bengal.

it starts in autumn and continues till the monsoon season.

dance also includes music, dance, and play.

But the performer performs this dance on an open stage and the audience encourages them from all sides.

play includes from Ramayan Mahabharat.

now it’s updated in modern play.

Mahal Dance

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