FOLK DANCE – HIMACHAL PRADESH

Introduction.          Himachal Pradesh, the North Indian state, was one of the few states that had remained largely untouched by external customs, largely due to its difficult terrain. The Himachal is known to be the Dev Bhoomi as supposes they are local deity which is looking above its visitors at each and every village of the Himachal Pradesh. Also, there are no other better things to delight the God other than that to dance for them. They think that dancing through the way of whole body and soul will get then directly into the connection to the Almighty. Himachali dance forms are highly varied and quite complicated. These dances are very vital part of the tribal life. It reflects the culture and the tradition of Himachal. Hardly any festivity here is celebrated without dancing. Some of the dance forms like Nati (dance) are danced all over the region. Various forms of dance in the area are given in subsequent paragraphs.

  1. Nati (dance). Nati is the most famous dance of Himachal Pradesh. Dance is listed in Guinness world record book as largest folk dance. It is mainly originated from Sirmaur But now it is quite popular in whole Himachal Pradesh and in Chandigarh where Himachali youth performed this on cultural programmes in colleges, universities. Nati (dance) is performed on every occasion like Marriages, Functions etc. The musical instruments which you may observe doing this dance form are the Dhol, Nagara, Shehnai and Kranal.

 

  1. The Mala (garland) dance. The Kayang Mala dance is one of the most popular dance in Himachal. In this, the dancers are dressed in their traditional finery, weave their arms together to form a sort of a crisscross pattern in order to appear like beads in a woven garland. They drink chhang (a rice brew) before this dance.

 

  1. The Thoda Dance. The Thoda are peculiar dance forms which are generally performed before the men’s go for the war. This dance form is also said to be the war dance. You will find some ancient rituals being performed by means of holding the bow and arrow in their hands. Furthermore, at the time of this ritual the dancers will actually attempt to mimic the battle scene by the way of their dance forms.

 

  1. The Demon (Rakshasa) dance. This dance form, from the Kinnaur and nearby areas are redolent of the historic period. The Kinnaur folk are being compared to deers. The dance form is performed with demon masks. It represents the attack of the demons on the crops and their ritual pursuing away by the forces of good. Chhambha is more or less same to the Punjabi dance Bhangra. These dance forms are generally organised in areas having dense population. During their local festivals like Chaitol and Bishu, such a type of community dancing can be witnessed. In this dance form men and women hold hands and dance. Their leader is known as Ghure and others follow in his footsteps This Dance Is Fabulas

  1. Dalshone and Cholamba dances. The following dance forms belong to the Ropa valley and in these dances the pattern formed by the dancers seems to be as coiled serpents.

(a)      The Cholamba dance is generally performed when a tiger is killed. The dead animal’s skin is stuffed and a gold ornament is put in his nose. The remains of the dead is then rotated and people dance around it.

(b)      The Nagas Kayang is a dance form which copies the snakes‘s movement.

 

(c)      The Herki Kayang is faster in rhythm and is generally danced at romantic occasions. The dance is performed by young men and women.

(d)      The Shuna Kayang dance is danced in most of the villages and its rhythm combines both slow and fast movements. This represents scenes from the life in the village and the forests.

  1. The Dandras. The Dandras form of dance is always performed in the Chamba district in Himachal. By way of holding tiny sticks in the hands, the dance will be performed. This dance is also been performed only at the time of jatras or festivals or during the fairs and the performance will continue for many hours.

 

  1. Shand and Shabu dances. These are 2 most popular dances of the Lahaul valley and are generally danced at the Buddhist Gompas in the memory of the Buddha. Shan means a prayer for the Buddha. Dances danced to these prayers are termed as Shan dances. This is a tribal dance which is performed after the completion of the harvesting of crops. Some of the instruments played in this are drums, shehnai and a stringed instrument like a violin.
    A similar dance form known as Shabbo is also performed at festivals. It represents the beliefs and lifestyle of the tribal people of the region. These dance forms are linked to the local festivals. Government have taken several initiatives for protecting the dance form.

 

  1. The Gugga Dance. This elegant dance is originated from the lowest hills of the Himachal Pradesh state. This Gugga dance form is held to shows the dedication towards the great GuggaPir. He is supposed to be the protector of animals as well as snakes. The leading sign of this dance is said to be the gigantic flag then umbrella which is carried to the divinity’s destination.

 

  1. The Ghurehi. This is very much special dance. The beautiful dance performance in usually been performed by the pretty ladies of Chamba region, during the annual fairs as well as furthermore religious occasions. The women who have been dressed up in the traditional manner in addition to ethnic jewelry that glorifies the gorgeousness of them is truly a sight that needs to see and not to is missed.

 

 

  1. The Losar Shona Chuksam. The Kinnauri’s loves to dance as well as they do it very much stylish. Losar means New Year in native also this is performed every year at the months of Vaishakha and Chaitra. You could rapidly recognize this dance by way of the presentation of music by the Bugjal, the big Dhol in addition to the long pipe known as the Karnal.

 

  1. Tribal Dances. The Keekali dance form is a dance of young girls. The girls hold each other’s hand crosswise and rotate swiftly on their toes.The tribal dance forms of the trans Himalayan region differs a lot in content and music. The old tradition of both song and dance in these regions has been enthusiastically guarded against urban influence. Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti and Tehsils of Pangi and Bharmour of Chamba constitute this zone. The inhabitants in these regions are known as Kinnauras, Lahaulas, Spitians, Pangwals and Gaddis. Gujjars and many of these tribes have their own distinct traditions of folk dances, songs, dresses and ornaments.

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