CHHAM (ARUNACHAL PRADESH)
A fascinating folk dance of Sherdukpens
- a small community of West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh, Bardo
Chham depicts the victory of good over evil. The dance has an interesting background.
According to the local beliefs, forces - both good and evil, rule mankind. The
folks believe that in one year, twelve different types of animals, representing
evil forces, appear each month and get together. The sherdukpens mask themselves
representing the different animals and dance to the accompaniment of drums and
cymbals as an act of fighting the evil forces.
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 feats.
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 center of the circle. The counterpart of
the Bhangra is the Gidha, danced by womenfolk.
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.
|The Bihu is the most widespread folk dance
of Assam and is enjoyed by all, young and
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 whole village participates
in the dance as the dancers go from house to house. The dance is performed to
the songs of love and romance and has a lively
beat and graceful movements. The dance begins in a slow tempo, which gradually
quickens as the dance proceeds. Bihu dance, in its varied forms, is also performed
during various stages of cultivation and at the advent of new season. 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 love. The most common formation is the circle or parallel rows.
The Bihu demonstrates, through song and dance, the soul of the Assamese at its