Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Folk Dances Of India - North

Bhangra : Bhangra is a popular dance of Punjab, performed by men. Shouts of "Hoye, balle.....balle" are the magic words that can send any Punjabi into rapture.There is no other dance than Bhangra, It is a robust dance performed during the Baisakhi festival. The dance is accompanied by the dholak (drums). The drummer usually takes his place in the centre of a circle of people dancing.

Dumal : The Dumhal is a dance performed by men in the Wattal tribe of Kashmir. The performers wear long colourful robes and tall conical caps, which are studded with beads and shells. These performers move in a procession, carrying a banner in a ceremonial fashion. This banner is then dug into the ground and the men begin to dance, forming a circle. The musical accompaniment comprises of a drum and the singing of the participants.

Rouf : The Rouf is a dance which is performed to mystical poetry during springtime in Kashmir. The performers divide themselves into two rows facing each other. The dancers put their arms around the shoulders of the dancers next to them and the resulting formation glides forwards and backwards. Rouf is also related to chorus singing called Chakri.

Lama Dances : Lama dances are festival mask dances of the monasteries of Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and other regions along the Himalayan belt. The dances are characterized by slow movements, open positions and large circular whirls. The mask dancers represent divine, human and animal life as well as martial art techniques. Each Lama dance is distinct and yet amazingly similar in respect of movement patterns.

Pangi Dances : These dances in the state of Himachal Pradesh usually begin with a single file entry of men and women separately. The two rows then form half concentric circles and move clockwise. This is then followed by the two rows forming one large circle and moving clockwise. Later, two concentric circles are formed with the men moving clock-wise and the women moving anti-clockwise. The initial holding of hands becomes a pattern with interlocking arms at the waist level, forming attractive designs.

Losar Shona Chuksam : This dance of the Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh is a functional dance with passages of mime and other sequences, which are purely abstract. Slow movements with soft knee dips are the key characteristics of this dance. The dance is held during the months of April-May in which the dancers recreate movements of sowing and reaping ogla (barley) and phaphar (a local grain).

Raas : The dance is performed during the Dussehra festival in the Kulu district of Himachal Pradesh. Based on human love stories unlike the traditional Raas, the dance is characterized by chain formations and concentric circles.

Gidda : The Gidda is an ancient dance from the state of Punjab and has simple graceful movement. It is performed in open courtyards by women. The dance begins in a circle, which then breaks into two semi circles and groups of four or six.

Dhamyal : The leading dance of Haryana, Dhamyal is also known as the Duph. The Duph is a circular drum, played nimbly by the men dancers. The dance can be performed by men alone or along with women.

Duph : In this dance from Haryana the dancer enters the dancing arena with a duph in hand and begins dancing slowly, with percussion instruments playing softly. Rows of people then form a circle and the tempo of the dance increases. The steps are limited and the torso is held erect, as the dancer is continuously required to play on the large duph.

Lahoor : The Lahoor is a dance performed by women in Haryana. It is mainly performed during springtime, after the work in the fields is over. The dance is often accompanied by witty questions and retorts rendered in a sing-song manner.

Dhurang : This dance from Uttar Pradesh is connected with the death ceremony. Its objective is to liberate the soul of the dead from evil spirits. Dancers in the Dhurang hold swords and dance in a circle. The movements are virile and reminiscent of the hunting dances of the Nagas on the eastern borders of India.

Mali Dance : A dance performed by women to receive the bridegroom's party on the occasion of a marriage. The dancers are veiled and have flaming brass pots on their head. They squat, recline and jump dexterously with these pots on their heads. The dance ends when the flames of the pots die out. This dance is from the state of Rajasthan.

Tera Tali : This dance trom Rajasthan is performed by two or three women, their faces covered with a veil. They have a naked sword between their teeth and balance decorated pots on their heads. The women produce a variety of sounds with the manjira (small cymbals) in their hands as they shift or slide on the ground.

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Dances Of India

classical dances : Bharata Natyam | Kathakali | Kathak | Manipuri | Kuchipudi | Odissi | Mohini Attam
Folk Dances North : Bhangra | Dhumal | Rouf | Lama Dance | Pangi Dances | Losar Shona Chuksam | Raas | Gidda | Dhamyal | Duph | Lahoor | Dhurang | Mali Dance | Tera Tali |
Folk Dances East : Bihu | Naga Dance | Hazagiri | Bamboo Dance | Nongkrem | Thang-Ta | Karma | Ponung | Brita or Vrita | Hurka Baul | Kali Nach | Ganta Patua | Paik | Dalkhai |
Folk Dances West : Gendi | Bhagoriya | Jawar | Garba | Dandiya | Kala | Dindi | Mando |
Folk Dances South : Dollu Kunitha |Dandaria | Karagam | Kummi | Kuttiyattam | Padavani | Kolam | Lava | Nicobarese |

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