DANCES OF INDIA DETAILS
Gotipuas are young boys of tender age.
They dress-up as girls and sing Vaisnab devotional love songs of
RadhaKrishna and perform Gotipua dance.The present
classical Odishi dance evolves from this centuries-old traditional
Most of the eminent Odishi Gurus in
their adolescence performed as Gotipuas. Earlier Gotipuas used to
perform whole night inspecial festive occasions, celebrating the
myth of Radha-Krishna love, such as Dola Utsav or Spring Festival,
Chandan Yatra, the Swing Festival
in Rain, at various monasteries and temples.
Usually a single Gotipua had to dance
alone in the occasion. It was not a group dance. They were sponsored
and promoted by different gymnasiums of the puri town or by the
feudal lords in the remote rural areas of Orissa. These days it
is a privilege to commission the Gotipua dance in the festive occasions.
Garba, the leading dance of women in
Gujarat, is associated with the fertility cult. For the nine nights
of Navaratri, during an autumn festival, woman come out into the
open and with perforated earthen pots holding lighted lambs poised
on the head sing, clap and dance a simple, circular dance, in honour
of the goddess Amba.
At times men too dance, by singing
and clapping and the dance is known as Garbi. Traditionally the
Garba is intended to be danced only at night and as a votive offering.
In an evolved version,the dance can be performed for its own sake
and at any time.
The most popular instinctive dance
of men in Punjab, Bhangra , if not the most robust, is one of India's
popular folk dances. This dance is performed during the Baisakhi
festival to the accompaniments and songs of Dholak. The dancers
snap their fingers, do balancing tricks and indulge in acrobatic
They recite witty couplets known as
bolis and out of sheer exuberance mouth meaningless sounds such
as hoay, hoay. The dancers are dressed in lungis and turbans. The
drummer usually takes his place in the centre of the circle. The
counterpart of the Bhangra is the Gidha, danced by womanfolk.
The dance is a group number, but often
individual dancers or pairs detach themselves from the group and
perform while the rest keep clapping in rhythm. In this as in the
Hikat of Kashmir, pairs of dancers go round and round with the feet
planted at one place. The festival of Teeyan, to welcome the rains
is the principal time for the Gidha.
Theyyam is one of the
most outstanding folk arts of Kerala and has its origin in the northern
parts of the state. Also called Thirayattam, (because every thira
or village performed this ritualistic art at the village temple)
this primitive ritualisic art demands long hours preparation before
TheTheyyam (a form or shape) represents
a mythological, divine or heroic character. There are over 350 Theyysma
in Northen Kerala. The hood, headdress, face painting, breast plate,
bracelets, garlands and fabric of attire of each of these Theyyams
are distinct and meticulously crafted according to the character
Musical accomaniments are Chenda and
Veekuchenda (drums), Elathalam and Kuzhal (horn). This art form
is mostly performed in Bhagavathy temples. Performances are on between
october and May. Thira is the main subdivision of Theyyam.
Bihu is the most widespread
folk dance of Assam and is enjoyed by all, young, old, rich and
poor. The dance is part of the Bihu Festival that comes in mid-April
when harvesting is done, and continues for about a month.
The participants are young
men and girls, who gather in the open in daytime. They dance together,
but there is no mixing of the sexes. The dance is supported by drums
and pipes. In between, the performers sometimes sing usually of
The most common formation
is the circle or parallel rows. The Bihu demonstrates, through song
and dance, the soul of the Assamese at its richest.
Padayani or Padeni in colloquial speech,
is one of the most colourful and spectacular folk arts associated
with the festivals of certain temples in southern Kerala (Aleppy,
Quilon, Pathanamthitta, and Kottayam districts).
The word Padayani literally means military
formations or rows of army, but in this folk art we have mainly
a series of divine and semi-divine impersonations wearing huge masks
or kolams of different shapes, colours and designs painted on the
stalks of arecanut fronds. The
most important of the kolams usually presented in a Padayani performance
are Bhairavi (Kali), Kalan (god of death), Yakshi (fairy), Pakshi
Chhau dance is indigenous to the eastern
part of India. It is originated as a martial art and contains vigourous
movements and leaps. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,
many of the princely rulers of the Orissa region took a keen interest
in the development of this art. They maintained troupes that performed
on special occasions and festivals.Some Chhau dances use large stylized
The depiction of birds and animals
is a distinctive feature. There are also heroic dances with sword,
bow or shield, with which dancers demonstrate their dexterity. In
keeping with the martial origins of Chhau, some of the themes include
the depiction of mythological heroes, such as Parashurama, Mahadev,
Indrajit and others, from the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics.
Over the course of time, female characters
and more diverse themes were added. There are three recognized schools
or styles of Chhau. These are the Seraikella, Purulia and Mayurbhanj
varieties. Mayurbhanj Chhau dancers do not wear masks. In recent
times, Mayurbhanj Chhau has become popular as a medium of choreography,
with its wide range of postures and movements that adapt well to
modern as well as traditional treatment.
Karnataka region has tribes who are
predominantly hunter. The ritual dances revolving around worship
of Lord Subramanya are called Kavadis. The state has an immense
treasure house of other ritualistic dances, all denoted by the generic
In Puja Kunitha, there is a wooden
structure with a deity on the head; Devare Thatte Kunitha, Yell-ammana
Kunitha, Suggikunitha and others, each taking its name from the
deity or the symbol or instrument which is balanced on the head,
or held in the hand.
The Dollu Kunitha is a popular drum
dance of Karnataka. The men have large drums, decorated with coloured
cloth, slung from their necks, and they beat the drums as they dance
with nimble movements of the feet and legs. The dance is at times
accompanied by songs, which are either religious or in praise of
/ Loor-Lahoor / Khoria Dance
Ghoomar is a dance performed by girls
on various occasions and festivals like Holi, Gangore Puja and Teej.
In this dance, the dancers form semi-circle to start with singing
and clapping and then gradually forming circle, the tempo of dance
Loor-Lahoor Dance: The Loor
also danced only by women, is popular in the area of 'Bagar' of
Haryana. The dancers form two teams and the song is generally in
the form of question and answers.
Khoria Dance: Similiar to Lahoor and Ghoomar dances, Khoria
dance is performed exclusively by women dancers on the occasion
of weddings and festivals.
Dance of Madhya Pradesh
A dance on stilts noted for balancing
and clever footwork performed by young male dancers wearing belts
studded with cowerie shells in water or marshy surface.
Dance of Madhya Pradesh
This traditional dance gets its name
from Karma tree which stands for fortune and good luck. The dance
begins with planting the tree and circular formations are formed
around the tree.
/ Baiga Pardhauni Dance of Madhya Pradesh
Shaila dance is popular amongst the
Gonds and Baiga tribes of the Dindori district in Madhya Pradesh,
which includes the stick performance. It reminds us of the days
when the warrior bands of the tribe used to live on the hills and
were called upon to defend themselves against enemies.
Baiga Pardhauni Dance: This
dance is popular amongst the Baiga tribe, performed to welcome the
wedding procession. In different guises of horse, bulls, and peacocks,
men perform this dance.
Maria Dance of Madhya Pradesh
Gaur dance is one of the important
dances of Bison Horn Marias of Abhujmaria plateau of Bastar in Madhya
Pradesh, which is basically performed on the occasion of marriages.
This picturesque and vigorous dance
of joy and invocation, is called Gaur after Bison and on surface
it may appear to be a hunt-dance with only the imitation of the
frisking, jerking movements of the animals.
Dance of Kashmir