Nitin Singhania Test: Indian Dance Form - 1

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Which of the following are correctly matched regarding the nine rasas?

1. Bhibhatsa for anger

2. Shrinagara for wonder

3. Adbhut for love

Choose from the following options.

Solution: Nine Rasas: Shringaara for love Roudra for anger Bibhatsa for disgust Veera for heroism Shaant for peace and tranquillity Haasya for laughter and comedy Karuna for tragedy Bhayanak for horror Adbhuta for wonder


Consider the following statements regarding Bharatanatyam.

1. The Origins of this dance can be traced back to the solo performance of Temple dancers in Kerala

2. Balasaraswati and Ragini Devi revived this dance form

Which of the following statements are correct?

  • Bharatnatyam: Oldest among all classical dance forms, Bharatnatyam derives its name from Bharata Muni and 'Natyam' which means dance in Tamil.

  • However, other scholars have ascribed the name 'Bharata' to 'Bhava', 'Raga' and 'Taal'.

  • This dance form's origins can be traced back to 'Sadir' – the solo dance performance of the temple dancers or 'devadasis' in Tamil Nadu, hence it was also referred to as 'Dashiattam'.

  • With the decline of the Devadasi system, the art too became nearly extinct. However, the efforts of E. Krishna Iyer, a prominent freedom fighter, revived this dance form.

  • Previously, this dance form was performed by solo female dancers; it has since become increasingly popular among male and group artists as well. Rukmini Devi Arundale, another famous proponent of Bharatnatyam, is remembered for giving global recognition to the dance.


Which of the following are among the elements of a Bharatanatyam recital?

1. Shabdam

2. Padam

3. Jala Chitra nrityam

Choose from the following options.



  • In the early nineteenth century, four dance teachers of Thanjavur defined Bharatnatyam recital elements.

They are :

  • Alarippu is an invocatory piece of performance that includes basic dance postures and is accompanied by rhythmic syllables. It is meant to seek the blessings of God.

  • Jatiswaram: It is the Nritta component and is devoid of expressions; it includes the different poses and movements.

  • Shabdam: It is the dramatic element with expressed words, which includes the abhinaya in the song. It is generally in praise of the glory of God.

  • Varnam: It is the Nritya component. It is a combination of dance and emotions and is the most important part of the whole performance. It is synchronised with tala and Raag, to express the story.

  • Padam: It refers to mastery over the abhinaya (expression) of the artist's spiritual message. Music becomes light; dance becomes emotional.

  • Jawali - These are short love-lyrics performed at a faster tempo.

  • Thillana: It is the concluding stage of the performance, and comprises pure dance (Nritta) with exuberant movement and intricate rhythmic variations.


Which of the following statements are correct about Kuchipudi?

1. It is generally a solo performance

2. Most of the Kuchipudi recitals have a theme based on Vaishnavism

Choose from the following options.


Today, Kuchipudi is performed in both solo and group performance styles. Although that is an evolution. Traditionally, Kuchipudi was solely a dance-drama tradition. Later, influenced by the popularity of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi was adapted to a more disciplined, classical dance form. Kuchipudi also adapted to include solo performance repertoire like in the Bharatanatyam. In the modern Kuchipudi style, also referred to as the “Vempati style”, the solo repertoire is included.

Kuchipudi is one of the eight major Indian classical dances. It originated in a village named Kuchipudi and largely developed as a Hindu god Krishna-oriented Vaishnavism.


Which of the following statements are correct about Kathakali?

1. It is closely related to Koodiyattam

2. Radha Reddy and Raja Reddy revived this dance form in 1930 s

Choose from the following options.

  • Kathakali: In the temples of Kerala, two forms of dance-drama, Ramanattam and Krishnattam, evolved under the patronage of feudal lords, narrating episodes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.

  • These folk drama traditions later became the source of Kathakali, which derived its name from the words 'Katha' meaning story and "Kali' meaning drama.

  • It is closely related to Koodiyattam (Sanskrit drama tradition) and other ancient martial-arts performance also. It is a wonderful combination of music, dance and drama. However, with the breakdown of the feudal setup, Kathakali started to decline as an art form.

It was revived in the 1930s by the famous Malayali poet V. N. Menon under Mukunda Raja's patronage. (Radha Reddy and Raja Reddy are famous proponents of Kuchipudi)


Consider the following statements regarding the features of Kathakali dance.

1. It is essentially an all-male troupe performance

2. The language used for Kathakali songs is Telugu

Which of these statements are correct?

  • Kathakali is essentially an all-male troupe performance. There is minimal use of props in the Kathakali recital.

  • However, very facial makeup, along with headgear, is used for different characters. It involves both dance and drama, and the two cannot be clearly separated.

  • Most Kathakali recitals are a grand representation of the eternal conflict between good and evil. It draws its themes from the stories narrated in the epics and the Puranas.

  • It is also called as the 'ballad of the east'. The language used for Kathakali songs is Manipravalam, i.e., a mixture of Malayalam and Sanskrit. Music is important to convey the entire drama to the viewers rightfully.

  • Different compositions of music are used during performance to give depth to the drama. Gestures are perhaps the crown jewel of the entire dance-drama. Kathakali is remarkable in representing the rasas through movements of eyebrows, through which the story is conveyed. Nine important facial expressions called 'Navarasas' are taught to convey different emotions.

  • Extensive gestures are also used. Therefore, this dance form calls for strenuous training.


Consider the following statements about mohiniattam dance.

1. It generally narrate the story of the feminine dance of Vishnu

2. The dance is accompanied by music and songs

Which of these statements are correct?

  • Mohiniattam combines the grace and elegance of Bharatnatyam with the vigour of Kathakali. There is a marked absence of thumping of footsteps, and the footwork is gentle.

  • Mohiniattam generally narrates the story of the feminine dance of Vishnu. It has its own Nritta and Nritya aspects like that of other classical dances.

  • The Lasya aspect (beauty, grace) of dance is dominant in a Mohiniattam recital. Hence, it is mainly performed by female dancers. The dance is accompanied by music and songs.

  • The costume is of special importance in Mohiniattam, with white and off-white being the principal colours and presence of gold-coloured brocade designs.

  • There is no elaborate facial makeup. The dancer wears a leather strap with bells (Ghungroo) on her ankles. The element of air is symbolised through a Mohiniattam performance. "Atavakul or Atavus" is the collection of forty basic dance movements. Musical instruments used are cymbals, veena, drums, flute, etc. Famous proponents: Sunanda Nair, Kalamandalam Kshemavathy, Madhuri Amma, Jayaprabha Menon etc.


Consider the following statements about Odissi.

1. It is similar to Mohiniattam in the use of Mudras and postures

2. The dance symbolises the element of air

Which of these statements are correct?

  • It is similar to Bharatnatyam in the use of Mudras and postures to express emotions. The tribhanga posture, i.e. the three-bended form of the body, is innate to Odissi dance form.

  • Also, the 'Chowk' posture with hands spread out depicts masculinity. During the dance, the lower body remains largely static, and there is the torso's movement.

  • Hand gestures play an important role to convey expressions during Nritya part. Odissi dance form is unique in its representation of gracefulness, sensuality and beauty. The dancers create intricate geometrical shapes and patterns with her body. Hence, it is known as 'mobile sculpture'.

  • The dance form symbolises the element of water.


Jhaveri sisters are associated with:

  • Javeri sisters are famous proponents of Manipuri dance. Manipuri dance form finds its mythological origin to Shiva and Parvati's celestial dance in the valleys of Manipur along with the local "Gandharvas'. The dance form traces its origin to the festival of Lai Haraoba where many dances were performed.

  • However, the dance gained prominence with the advent of Vaishnavism in the 15th century. Then, Krishna became the central theme of this dance form. It is performed generally by females. In modern times, Raja Bhag Chandra of Manipur in the 18th century tried to revive the Manipuri dance. Rabindranath Tagore brought back the dance form into limelight when he introduced it in Santiniketan.


Which of the following are correctly matched regarding chhau dance?

1. Saraikela chhau - Assam

2. Mayurbhanj chhau - Odisha

3. Purulia chhau - West Bengal

Choose from the following options.

  • Chhau originates from Chhaya' meaning shadow. It is a form of mask dance that uses rigorous martial movements to narrate mythological stories. Some narrations also use natural themes such as Sarpa nritya (serpent dance) or Mayur Nritya (peacock dance).

  • There are three main Chhau dance styles -Saraikela Chhau in Jharkhand, Mayurbhanj Chhau in Odisha.

  • Purulia Chhau in West Bengal. Of these, Mayurbhanj Chhau artists don't wear masks. In 2010, UNESCO inscribed Chhau in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


Which of the following are the folk dances of Uttar Pradesh?

1. Raslila

2. Dadra

3. Jawara

Choose from the following options.

  • Raslila: Brij Raslila is a popular folk dance of the region of Uttar Pradesh, revolving around the adolescent love stories of Radha and Krishna.

  • Dadra: It is the semi-classical form of dance popular in Uttar Pradesh, accompanied by the same style's music. It was prevalent among the courtesans of the Lucknow region.

  • Jawara: Jawara is the harvest dance popular in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. The dance, which includes balancing a basket full of jawar on the head, is accompanied by heavy instrumental music.


Charba is a popular dance of:

Solution: It is the popular folk dance of Himachal Pradesh, performed during the Dussehra festivities.


Consider the following statements.

1. Birha is a popular dance of Bihar

2. It represents the quarrel of a married couple

Which of these statements are correct?

Solution: Biraha dance and its variant, Bidesia, is a popular form of entertainment in rural Bihar. It is a portrayal of the pain of the women, whose partners are away from home. However, this dance form is practised solely by males, who play the role of female characters.


Which of the following are the folk dances of Odisha?

1. Bihu

2. Jhumar

3. Danda Jatra

Choose from the following options.

  • Jhumar: Jhumar is a popular harvest dance, performed by the tribal people of Jharkhand and Odisha. It has two variations - Janani Jhumar, performed by women and Mardana Jhumar, performed by men. It is a major attraction at many fairs and festivals.

  • Danda-Jatra: The Danda Nata or the Da da Nata or the Danda Jatra is one of India's oldest folk arts. Mainly popular in Odisha, it is a unique blend of dance, drama and music. While it mainly narrates stories and about Shiva, the theme is generally social harmony and brotherhood.

  • Bihu: Bihu is the popular dance of Assam, performed in groups by both men and women. The dancers are dressed in colourful traditional dresses to celebrate the pomp and gaiety. The dance performance includes group formations, rapid hand movements and brisk footsteps.


Padyani dance is a Martial dance performed in the temples of:

  • Padayani: Padavani is a martial dance performed in the temples of southern Kerala. Padayani literally means rows of infantry, and it's a vibrant and colourful affair.

  • The dancers wear huge masks known as kolams and present interpretations of divine and semi-divine narratives. Some of the popular characters are Bhairavi, Kalan (god of death), Yakshi and Pakshi, etc.


Chakyar Koothu is an art form of:


Chakyar Koothu: It is an art form of Kerala. It is a solo performance, where the performer dresses as Snake. It is a combination of prose and poetry and is generally a narration in Malayalam. It has been traditionally performed by the Chakyar community (a priestly caste). The performer wears a colourful headgear, a large black moustache and red spots all over his body.


Dumhal is performed in:


Dumhal: It is performed in Jammu & Kashmir, by the Wattal tribe. It involves colourful costumes with a tall conical hat for men. Performers dance and sing to the drum beats.


Which of the following are not correctly matched?

  • Fugdi: It is performed in the Konkan region of Goa during festivals by women. They dance in varied formations, mostly in circles or rows. It has many subtypes according to local customs.

  • Cheraw: It is a folk dance of Mizoram and is performed using bamboo sticks. It is likely to have a foreign origin. Men tap long pairs of bamboo in rhythmic beats, and girls dance to the beats of bamboo.

  • Jhoomar: Tribal Sikhs perform it in Punjab and adjoining areas during the harvest season It is performed in a circle. Movement of arms is the most important part, on the tune of the drums. Costumes are the same as in Bhangra. It was carried to India by the traders from Balochistan.

  • Dalkhai: Mostly performed during the festival of Dussehra in Odisha. The tribes perform it, and many musical instruments are used. Events from Ramayana and Mahabharata, stories of Lord Krishna, etc. are represented.


Burrakatha is a dance form of:

Solution: Burrakatha: Burrakatha or Jangam Katha, is a form of dance narration from Andhra Pradesh, in which a single performer narrates stories from the Puranas.

In literature, the first references to dance and music in India can be found in

  • Bharata and Nandikesvara are the main authorities of dance, not the first references.

Aranyakas are the philosophy behind ritual sacrifice part of the Vedas. Natyadharmi is the formalized presentation of theatre.

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