Two main schools of classical music-Hindustani and Carnatic continue to survive through oral tradition being passed on by teachers to disciples. This has led to the existence of family traditions called gharanas and sampradayas.
Dance in India has an unbroken tradition of over 2,000 years. Its themes are derived from mythology, legends and classical literature, two main divisions being classical and folk. Classical dance forms are based on ancient dance discipline and have rigid rules of presentation. Important among them are Bharata Natyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, Kuchipudi and Odissi. Bharata Natyam though it derives its roots from Tamil Nadu, has developed into an all India form. Kathakali is a dance form of Kerala. Kathak is a classical dance form revitalised as a result of Mughal influence on Indian culture. Manipur has contributed to a delicate, lyrical style of dance called Manipuri, while Kuchipudi is a dance form owing its origin to Andhra Pradesh. Odissi from Odisha, once practised as a temple dance, is today widely exhibited by artistes across the country. Folk and tribal dances are of numerous patterns.
Both classical and folk dances owe their present popularity to institutions like Sangeet Natak Akademi and other training institutes and cultural organisations. The Akademi gives financial assistance to cultural institutions and awards fellowships to scholars, performers and teachers to promote advanced study and training in different forms of dance and music, especially those which are rare.
Theatre in India is as old as her music and dance. Classical theatre survives only in some places. Folk theatre can be seen in its regional variants practically in every region. There are also professional theatres, mainly city-oriented. Besides, India has a rich tradition of puppet theatre, prevalent forms being puppets, rod puppets, glove puppets and leather puppets (shadow theatre). There are several semi-professional and amateur theatre groups involved in staging plays in Indian languages and in English.
Source: National Portal Content Management Team Reviewed on: 19-03-2011