The classical dance tradition of India is one of the oldest dance traditions in the world. It encompasses seven dance styles, four originating in the South, Bharatha Natyam (Tamil Nadu), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Kathakali (Kerala), Mohini Attam (Kerala), and three originating in the North, Odissi (Orissa), Kathak and Manipuri (Manipur).
Although each style is unique and has its own distinctive features, all the above-mentioned styles have both pure dance (nritta) and expressive (abhinaya) elements. Nritta or pure dance is the expression of rhythmic movement primarily through use of the hands and feet in specific poses. These movements are not designed to convey any particular meaning, emotion, or theme. Abhinaya makes use of facial expressions and body movements to convey emotions or to depict moods. Most of the dance forms also share hand gestures and other eye and neck movements.