Online Course for Madhya Pradesh Public Service
General Studies: Dance & Drama
Dances of Madhya Pradesh
The state of Madhya Pradesh can be termed as a cultural
museum of India. The place not only unities many religions in its lap, But is
also home to some of the most prominent tribal communities of the country. These
tribal and aborigines of Madhya Pradesh have contributed to the rich culture
saga of the place, intrinsically blending their indigenous cultures taints large
netting pot. In fact the tribal culture in the state is the reason that we
notice the incorporation of various folk dance forms to its troupe of
traditional dances let us learn about some of the most important folk dances of
Madhya Pradesh that add colorful to its vibrant culture.
People of the Bundelkhand region perform this dance to
celebrate prosperity. Originally a pleasant dance Jawara follows the reaping of
a costumes, dance and revel together, synchronizing their movement to a variety
of musical instruments while dancing the women also balance baskets, full of
Jawara on their head. It is a wonder to notices the poise of the women, while
they maintain brisk dance movements of Jawara.
Tertati is a folk dance of the Kamar in Madhya Pradesh
generally, two or three women of the tribe sit on the ground and initiate the
dance performance. Small metal cymbal called 'Mangiras' are tried to different
parts at their body. They also carry a cymbal in each hand and strike them in
rhythm. The head remains covered with a veil. Gnashing a small sword between
their teeth and balancing a pot on their heads, they vigorously bellow the boat
of the dance.
Lehangi is a folk dance of the Banjara and Kanjar tribe of
the Bhopaf commissary of Madhya Pradesh and is performed during the blossoming
monsoon period. The Banjara tribe aiso performs this dance from during the
festival of "Rakhi". Young men hold sticks in their hands and rhythmically beat
them while dancing various acrobatic tricks incorporated into the dance, lend a
dramatic touch to the performances.
Dear Candidate, This Material is from Madhya Pradesh PSC Study Kit. For
Akiri dance is a trademark of the cattle herders of
Gwalior.The dance also has religious overtones as the various communities of
Gwalior who performed this dance are considered to be the descendants of lord
Krishna. People belonging to the Ahir, Gwala, Rawat, Beat and Baredi communities
generally perform Ahiri.The Ahiri community is the most avid follower of this
cultural and religious occasions. Baredi or Yadav Dance Baredi is an important
folk dance of the Gwalior District. Staring from Diwali the dance is performed
till the day of "Kartik Purnima" A host of musical instruments like dholak,
Jhang, Manjira mridang and daphil imparts the tribal beat as the dancers perform
and move around in.circles. Folk songs are also sang that follows a question and
answer format. The performers are clad in dhatis and accessorized with peacock
The most popular among the Madhya Pradesh dances, is the Gaur
dance of the Sing Marias orTallaguda Marias (bison-horn Marias) of South Bastar.
This spectacular dance symbolizes the hunting spirit of the tribe. The word
'Gaur* means a ferocious bison. The invitation for a. dance is given by sounding
a bamboo trumpet or a horn. Wearing headdresses frilled with stringed 'cowries'
and plumes of peacock feathers fastened to them the men folk with flutes and
drums make their way to the dancing ground. Women adorned with brass fillets and
bead necklaces over their tattooed bodies soon join the assemblage. They carry
dancing sticks called Tirududi in their right hands and tap them to conform with
the drum-beats. They dance in their own groups by the side of the male members.
But they also take the liberty to cross and re-cross in between the groups of
male dancers and drummers. Their jingling anklets correspond to the songs of
their lips as they move.The men beat the drums, tossing the horns and feathers
of their headgears to the rising tempo that gives the dance a wilder touch.
The men with drums usually move in a circle and create a variety of dancing
patterns when they are spirited. In the bison dance (Gaur) they attack one
another and chase the female dancers. The Marias imitate a number of bison
movements. Most of them perform like frisky bulls, hurling wisps of grass into
air, charging and tossing horns.
The Murias are trained in the Ghotui for all types of their
community dances. Before any dance is commenced at a wedding or a festive
occasion, the Murias first worship their drums. Very often they begin with an
invocation to 'Lingo Pen', the phallic deity of the tribe and the founder of the
GhotuI institution. To a Muria, Lingo Pen was the first musician who taught the
art of drumming to the tribal boys.
The dancing site is chosen near the GhotuI compound. On marriage celebrations,
the Muria boys and girls perform a dance called Har Endanna. The dance commences
with a group of boys carrying ritualistic offerings and gifts and conducting the
bridegroom to the ceremonial place. In this light and happy dance, there are a
variety of movements with the boy and the girl dancers and drummers
participating to move in patterns with running steps and circles then changing
directions, kneeling, bending and jumping. The movements of the drummers as they
dance and manipulate their drums is fascinating.
Their Hulki is the loveliest of all the dances. The Karsana
is performed for sheer fun and enjoyment. Both the dance-forms are quick and
rich with many rhythmic nuances. In the Hulki, boys move in a ring while the
girls tread way through them. These forms are more favourite with the performing
groups when they go to another village to attend wedding celebrations or else
visit some fair. Their Pus Kolang expedition occurs in the month of February.
During hot weather the boys and the girls meet in Chhat'Dadar expedition. Many
of the dances associated to these visits are stick-dances.
Young boys of the plains of Chhattisgarh bring life to the
post-harvest time by the Saila dance. Saila is a stick-dance and is popular
among the people of Sarguja, Chhindwara and Baitui districts. But in these
places, Saila is known by Danda Nach or Dandar Pate. The Saila often comes out
with many variations and much buffoonery. Sometimes the dancers form a circle,
each standing on one leg and supporting himself by holding on to the man in
front. Then they all hop together round and round Sometimes they fa pair off, or
go round in a single or double line, occasionally, climbing on each other's
back. The climax of a day's Saila, is the great Snake Dance. The Saila songs, of
which the refrain is the monotonous Nanare nana are usually of a progressive
character leading to a highly vulgar conclusion.
Saila comprises over half a dozen varieties. Some of them are
named as the Baithiki Saila, the Artari Saila, the Thadi Saila, the Chamka Kunda
Saila, the Chakramar Saila (lizard's dance) and the Shikari Saila. Each
variation has a certain theme and distinctive feature of its own. Saila's simple
form is the Dasera dance which is always performed by the Baigas before Diwali.
Some of the post-harvest dances reach the climax towards the festivities of
Diwali.The Diwali dances of the Ahirs and Rawats of Bilaspur and Ralpur
districts of the state have enough of vital appeal. Wearing tight-fitting
shirts, studded withghungrus or tiny bells and armlets of ghungurs,the Ahir
dancers vigorously perform the Danda dance. .
Among the Gonds and the Baigas of Chhattisgarh and the Oraons
of the north-west fringes of Madhya Pradesh, the Karma dance is very common.
This form is associated with the fertility cult and essentially I related to the
Karma festival that falls in the month of August. The Karma dance symbolizes the
bringing of green branches of the forest in the spring. Sometimes a tree is
actually set Up in the village and people dance round it. The dance is filled
with breath of trees. The men leap forward to a rapid roll of drums. Bending low
to the ground the women dance, their feet moving in perfect rhythm to and fro,
until the group of singers advances towards them.
The Majhwars of Sarguja district dance the Karma towards the
beginning and the end of the rainy season. The Gonds and the Baigas of Mandla
and Bilaspur districts dance it at any time they wish. The Baigas, the Jhumies,
the Kanwars and the Gonds of Baghelkhand area perform this dance to the
accompaniment of theThumki, the Payri, the Chhaila and the Jhumki instruments.
The Sirki, the Ghatwar, the Jhumar. tHe Ektaria, the Pendehar, the Dohoari,
theTegwani and the Lahaki are some of the sub-varieties of the Karma dance.
There are other variants of the Karma! The songs associated with these variants
differ with each pattern.TheThadi, the Lahaki, the Khalha, the Jhumar and the
Jharpat are the variations of Baiga Adivasis dance.The Karma seems to have been
the oldest dance form of the Adivasis of Madhya Pradesh, it is the only dance
which is common to the many ethnic groups of India.
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