KARMA (MUNDA), (BIHAR)
The traditional dance gets its name from the Karma tree,
which stands for fortune and good luck. The ceremony starts with the planting
of the trees. Dancers, both men and women, form circles around it and dance
with their arms around each other's waists. As the drum beats get quicker
and louder, the dancers gain momentum and generally end in an uproarious tumult.
KINNAURI NATI (HIMACHAL PRADESH)
The pristine beauty of hilly Himachal finds
an eloquent expression in the languid and elegant movements that form a part of
the marvelous Nati dance. The dance matches the gentleness of the hilly breeze
and the rhythmic swaying of trees. The dance is mainly a mime but also incorporates
some abstract but languid sequences. Important among the dances of Nati is 'Losar
shona chuksom', which takes its name from Losai - or
the New Year. The dance depicts all the activities involved in sowing
the crop and reaping it.
KALBELIA DANCE (RAJASTHAN)
The fascinating dance is performed by the women of Kalbelia
community. The main occupation of the community is catching
snakes and trading snake venom.
Hence the dance movements and the costumes bear resemblance to that of the serpents.
Dancers attired in traditional black swirling skirts, sway sinuously to the plaintive
notes of the 'been' - the wooden instrument of the snake charmers.
The dance derives its name from the fisher folk of Maharashtra
- Kolis, who are noted for their distinct
identity and lively dances. Their dances incorporate elements they are most familiar
with - the sea and their occupation of fishing. The dance is performed by both
men and women - divided into two groups. The smaller group of men and women, in
pairs, enact the main story of the dance - where the Kolin
or fisherwoman makes advances to the Koli or fisherman. The larger
group, also in pairs, forms the backdrop for the story, dancing in a looped movement
that depicts the rowing of a fishing boat on undulating waves.
KUMMI (TAMIL NADU)
The womenfolk of Tamil Nadu have three closely
related dances, which can be performed at any time but are seen at their best
during festivities. The simplest of these is the Kummi,
in which the dancers gather in a circle and clap their hands as they dance. As
an extension to this is the Kolattam, where instead of clapping, the participants
hold small wooden rods in their hands and strike these in rhythm as they dance.
The original name of this traditional dance of the Jaintia tribe of Meghalaya
is 'Chipiah'. The dance gets its
name from the rhythmic chant of the singer - 'hoo-ah-hoo'. The dance is performed
in gratitude for God's blessings and his bounty.
LAVA DANCE (LAKSHADWEEP)
It is the colorful dance of the Minicoy
Island of Lakshadweep in which dancers wear multi-hued costumes, a
headgear and carries a special drum. The dance movements are prolific and profuse
and are in rhythm with the drum beats and vocal accompaniment.
The Namagen dance is performed in September
to celebrate the autumnal hues. The costumes
are largely woolen and richly studded ornaments of silver are worn by women. The
most picturesque amongst these are dances of Gaddis.
All regions of Himachal Pradesh have their
own dances. Mostly men and women dance together, close to each other in the formation.