The word folk originate from the German word ‘folc’ which means common people of both urban and rural areas but people have a very bad notion about folk, the general notion is that folk is related to village people, village art but that is totally wrong. Folk art means the art of common people regardless of place discrimination. So therefore no such specification of village art, folk art is the art of general mass. This art might not be sophisticated and might not have been refined to be included in that of classical, but it has its own rules, rigidity and beauty, for which it can be easily be classed under separate group other than the classical.
There is a very marked distinction between folk dance classical dances, classical dance is more refined and is associated with the elite class of people, but unlike the classical dance folk dance is meant for the sheer pleasure of the performers and not for the entertainment of the public. The emotion expressed in the classical dance on stage is artificial but in folk dance it is original and natural because in folk there is no such highly ornamented stage for the sake of public’s enjoyment rather it is for the enjoyment of the performers. Folk dances, folk songs are the outcome of common people’s day to day life’s event.
There are numerous folk dances in India which are community creations. Some examples of folk dances are Chhou Naach, Alkap, Nachni Naach, Domni, Ghora Naach, Gambhira, Natua, Dainr Naach from West Bengal; Banjara, Batukamma, Dappu, Dhimsa, Changu, Budabukkala from Andhra Pradesh; Kavadiyattam, Kaliyoottu, Chaliyapporattu, Theyyam, Vellakalli from Kerala, Kolattam, Oyilattam, Devarattam, Bommalattam, Puliyattam from Tamil Nadu; Bihu, Bagurumba, Zikirs, Khamba Lim, Dhuliya from Assam; Bhangra, Daankara, Luddi, Dhamal, Gatka, Giddha from Punjab to name a few.
By Shaktipada Kumar