Pakistan Dances – Classic, Folk, Dhamaal and others

Pakistan dances, just like music is very much a part of Pakistani lives.  Dances are not only for entertainment purposes but they encompass the lives of people because dances in Pakistan are celebratory and ceremonial in nature.

Dances are traditionally part of the lives of people especially in Pakistan.  Dance for Pakistanis is so important that people can communicate with each other and tell a story without uttering a word but rather dancing to send those messages.

There are different Pakistan dances and they are likewise fusion of many different influences.  In this article, we will give you some of the important Pakistan dances and their importance in the lives of Pakistani people.

Pakistan Dance: Classical Dance

Classical dance in Pakistan is characterized in two different forms.

One is Bharatanatyam.  Bharatanatyam is a structured dance with strong gestures and expressive hand movements.  The influence came mainly in South Asia and used to be seen mostly in temples of India as a religious performance.  The dancers during this time are called temple dancers.

The second classical dance in Pakistan is Kathak.  Kathak came from the word katha which means story.  Kathak is a dance where performers tell a story using their body movements, facial expressions and synchronizing their movements with the music.

Elements of kathak includes spinning, linear and circular body extensions and controlled hand and body movement with rhythmic foot works.  They are commonly performed in theaters.

Pakistan Dance: Folk Dance

Folk dance on the other hand is often celebratory and seasonal in nature.  Folk dances are used to celebrate child birth, wedding, spiritual or religious ritual and is likewise used for community knowledge.

The structure is often loose and steps are somewhat simple.  There are different interpretations of Pakistan folk dance in every region but they are often in sync with folk music usually played with special instruments.

Pakistan Dance:  Religious Dance

Religious dances are often used in religious ritual and this is popular among Sufis.  Just like their Qawwali song, the dance is likewise important during some religious festivals.  The dance is known as dhammaal.  A devotional dance characterized by high stepping and hands raised over the head and with the index finger pointing at the sky.  Men and women perform this dance.

Pakistan Dance: Contemporary Dance

Pakistan is a traditional country.  The military rule used to ban dances performed in national media.  There were times when classical dances are only seen in private home of upper class citizens.  This is slowly changing with the time where younger middle class girls are training for classical dancing.  Contemporary dance may be an important inclusion in popular theater but caution is always used in their performances.

Dance if very important for most people and Pakistan dances are common staples of festivals and celebrations.  Knowing those steps and intricate movements are a dream to the younger generation.

If you want to learn Pakistan dances you have to train well for them.  However, we will reiterate that you have to be cautious especially if you are around people you do not know well.

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