Sattriya Dance
the 500 years old dance form of Assam is one among eight
classical dances of India
is highly devotional in character.



Sattriya dance

The sattriya dance form was evolved early in the 16th century, if not towards the end of the 15th, when Vaishnava saint and reformer, Srimanta Sankardeva(1449-1568), a great artist and musian himself, composed his dance drama and songs. The sattriya dances possess a number of hastas, Choreographic patterns, distinctive costumes and a variety of masks. The music mostely depends upon the khol, cymbals ( pati tal, bhor tal), supporting raga, and other songs.

Classification of Sattriya Dances

The Sattriya Dance may be classified and grouped as follows-

    1. Dances including in dramatic representations
    2. Chalis
    3. Oja-Pali

dramatic representations

There are three principal forms of dances included in dramatic performances : the dances of Sutradhara, the dances of Krishna or Rama, and the dances of Gopis of Vrindavana or some other woman characters. a. Sutradhari Nach
b. Gosai-pravesar nach
c. Gopi-pravesar nach
d. Rasar nach
e. Yuddhar nach
f. Jhumuras
g. Nadu-bhangi


One of the most characteristic forms of sattriya dance is chali-nach. The word chali probably echos a Natya term for a kind of foot-work ( pada ) known as pada-charika is the movement of the feet, legs (from ankles to the knees), thighs and hips. The chali naches are said to beeight in numbers, but actually one differ from other mainly in the ramdani, which employs 8 different talas.


There is a class of vyas-gowa oja-pali in the sattras. Their dances are much similar to non-sattra vyah-gowa oja-pali. One oja and any number up to 20 or 25 of palis form this sattra chorus.The oja is dressed in white dhoti, a pagri with a garland on it, a netted waist-coat and a chaddar.