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This is a rudimentary form of the more evolved Chhau dance of West Bengal. Performed in the Mayurbhanj district of Orissa, it has its base in the martial arts tradition. The dance is a stylized mock battle in which two groups of dancers armed with swords and shields, alternatively attack and defend themselves with vigorous movements and elegant stances.

Especially notable is the accompanying music, noted for its rhythmic complexities and vigorous percussion. The instruments include 'Mahuri' - a double reeded instrument, 'Dhola' - a barrel shaped two-sided drum, 'Dhumsa' - a hemispherical drum and 'Chadchadi' - a short cylindrical drum.


It is a masked dance of Sikkim, depicting snow lion - the cultural symbol of the state. (Snow lion was decreed the guardian deity of the people of Sikkim by Guru Padamsambhava). The third highest mountain in the world - Kanchenjunga (Khang-Chen Dzong Pa), standing sentinel over the state of Sikkim, is believed to resemble the legendary snow lion. The natives display their cultural symbol by dressing up in furry costumes and performing this majestic masked dance.


This 'martial' form of dance is a brilliant display of courage, stamina and skill of 'dPao' or the powerful warriors of Ladakh, who once defended the freedom and territorial integrity of the land. Their martial art has taken the form of this fascinating dance, which forms an inseparable part of the Ladakhi culture.


The multi-hued dance is all energy and youthfulness. On the occasions of Dussehra and Holi, the spirited young girls and boys swarm the streets in colorful group, waving flags and streamers (tarang), inspiring and inviting one and all to imbibe the festive spirit. They shout Ho! Ho! To the beats of 'romut', 'dhol' and 'tasha'. The rainbow like costumes of the dancers and the multi-coloured flags and streamers make Taranmel a visually appealing affair.


The Kamar tribe performs the Tera Tali, which is an elaborate ritual with many elements of dance. It is generally performed by two or three women who sit on the ground. Manjiras, or small metal cymbals are tied to different parts of the body, mostly the legs, and with a cymbal in either hand the dancer strikes these in rhythm. The head is covered with a veil, and at times a small sword is clenched between the teeth and an ornamental pot balanced on the head.


Thang Ta is the martial art form exclusive to Manipur, with 'Thang' meaning sword and 'Ta' meaning spear. In this amazing display of the traditional art of warfare, performers leap and attack each other and defend themselves. Encouraged by the kings of the earlier times, Thang Ta is an ingenuous display of skill and creativity. The art has a ritualistic aspect with some movements of sword intended to ward off evil spirits, while other postures indicating protection. All the dance forms of Meiti people are believed to have originated from Thang Ta.


This is the dance form of the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, in which more than ten persons participate, singing songs in the praise of the local goddess. The dancers use drums, which are hung around their necks to produce varied rhythms. Tinkling bells around the waist form a distinctive part of the dancers' costumes.


It is performed by a rural community living around NalLake. In it, performers simulate the rhythmic movements of roving mariners and the undulating sea waves. The Bhil tribes, who live close to border tracts, and the Adivasis of Dangs district, have particularly lively folk dances.


Women from sea side resort of Chorwad beat the floor with long sticks, and sing to the pace, while others dance in swirling skirts. With such simple instruments as a 'turi' and a 'thali' (brass plate) the members of the Halli community perform an energetic dance, usually performed during Holi, Diwali and at weddings.

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