India has an unbounded wealth of folklore, legends and myths from where spring our most colourful composite art of music and dance. The Folk art comprises the spontaneous, sometimes raw, expression of peopleâ€™s emotions at the grass-root level. However, in no way inferior to the majestic classical dance and music of the country, their simplicity and inherent beauty appeal to the common masses.
Every region has its own folk dance form that depicts the daily life emotions of the people and also adds to the cultural charm.
Nestled in the snow clad Himalayas, the state of jammu and Kashmir boasts many folk dances like Damali, Rou, Hikit, Dandi. The dumhal dance is performwd by the Wattal tribe of Kashmir on special occasions. The dancers are dressed in long colourful robes and dorn tall conical caps, studded with beads and shells. The party dance to the foot-tapping rhythm of the drums.
Far north, the picturesque Ladakh is famous for the dance that commemorates the powerful warriors of the region. The Spaw dance is a brilliant display of courage, skill and staminas.
The mention of Gujarat brings to the mind the image of a group of young boys and girls, adorned in colourful costumes and dancing with sticks in their hands. Yes, Dandiya it is.
Another popular dance form is Garba. Actually, Garba refers to the earthern pot with holes in which a lamp is lit and around which the women dance, clapping in a rhythm. The songs and themes of the dance are the stories of Raasleela of Lord Krishna. The Garba is an intricate part of the Navratra in September-October.
Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance, particularly performed on the Dholki beats. The songs and dance are marked by powerful rhythm and and quick tempo.
It is one of the most sensuous form of the dances of Rajasthanâ€™s Kalbelia community. The dance movements and the costumes bear close resemblance to the serpents. Dancers, attired in traditional black swirling skirts, sway sinuously to the notes of the been– wooden instrument of snake charmers.
Bhangra and Giddha
The energetic Bhangra and Giddha with the contagious beats and catchy tones of dhol resound in the state of Punjab. The dance which was the expression of a Punjabi farmerâ€™s happiness on harvesting a bounty reap has become a general assertion of celebration in Punjab. The giddha accompanies the boliyan, folk couplets sung by women about the various themes of their daily life.
The veiled women in Uttar Pradesh balance large multi-tiered circular wooden pyramids on their heads, alight with 108 oil lamps, dance to the tunes of rasiya songs of Krishna. The dance is especially performed to mark the birthday of Lord Krishnaâ€™s consort, Radha.
The Mizoramâ€™s Cheraw dance is a combination of skill and rhythm. Four people hold two pairs of long bamboos across one another on the ground. As they are clapped together, the main dancers weave through them patterns from time to time.
The masked dance is a major attraction of the pristine state of Sikkim. The masked dance in furry costumes is the portrayal of the snow lion, the cultural representation of the state and the Kanchenjunga, worldâ€™s third highest mountain peak.