Dances of India Book Review

Disclosure: Our Little Loka gave me a copy of this book free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today as part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs Multicultural Kid's Products Promotion Services, I get to share with you a wonderful board book called Maya and Leela Present: Dances of India by Kyra Khanna, Malini Sekhar and Alyssa M. Torres. This colorful book goes through in simple details of four popular dances in India. They are Bharatanatyam, Dandiya Raas, Chhau, and Bhangra. Each is a traditional dance from different parts of the country. It is a wonderful introduction for young children to the culture of India.

Each dance is described with a few sentences and a picture. Each includes some of the distinct sounds you hear when watching or performing the dance. Having an older child, I wanted to learn more, so I checked out the website on the book which was suggested for more information. They have links with ideas for dancing with your child and more on the dances of India as well as a bit of information on India.

Bharatanatyam 21.jpg

"Bharatanatyam 21". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The Bharatanatyam dance is an ancient classical dance from the Southern state of Tamil Nadu. The dancer dances to the beat of drums and has bells on her ankles. This reminded me of the Cinderella tale from India called An Anklet for a Princess. The anklet would be very easy to make out of felt, velcro and jingle bells. You could either sew the velcro and bells on or glue them. If you go the glue method, wait for the glue to dry before using. You could also make the anklet similar to the bracelets we made here.

Dandiya Raas
Dandiya Raas Source: By Tashiya (
[CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Dandiya Raas involves moving in large circles and hitting dandiyas (sticks). It is a traditional folkloric dance from Vrindavan and is most popularly performed during the festival of Navatri in Gujarat.

Chhau dancers from West Bengal.jpg
"Chhau dancers from West Bengal" by [object Object].
Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Chhau dance is a tribal dance from Eastern India. It involves the dancers wearing masks and combines dance with martial practices including mock combat moves. (Source)

Bhangra 1
Bhangra Source: By Shamrock23 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
The Bhangra is a harvest folk dance from Punjab. The dancers dance to the beat of a drum and wave scarves in the air. 

I love that Dances of India is a board book so it introduces our youngest children to a new culture. I hope they will come out with a form of the book for older children with even more information about each dance. I know Hazel loved reading a book about dancing and wants to try the different ones out.

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