Back to the roots

  • Soumya Vajpayee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 24, 2013 15:11 IST

Assamese girls perform Bihu, a traditional folk dance of Assam, during India's Independence Day celebrations in Gauhati.


Folk dancers from six states will be showcasing their traditions in the city tonight. Titled Lok Folk, this festival has been organised by the South Central Zone Culture Centre (SCZCC). Troupes from Assam, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur will be participating in the event. Now participants from the troupes explain what is so special about each of them.

Bihu (Assam)
“Bihu is performed by young boys and girls, and expresses love and the vigour of youth,” says Utpal Jyoti Bora, a participant. It is often seen during marriages as the dance relates to romance. One also uses dhol, pepa (flute like instrument) and other indigenous folk instruments.

Songi Mukhawate (Maharashtra)
A folk dance of tribals living along the borders of Gujarat and Maharashtra; it is performed at auspicious occasions as locals believe it can help them get rid of evil. “The dance is so pure that it gives us the enthusiasm to perform,” says Ambadhar, a participant.

Chhau (West Bengal)
It is a vigorous form of dance drama, drawing its inspiration from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The outfits worn during the dance comprises masks and elaborate headgears. “The Chhau reflects the victoryof good over evil,” says Harendra Nath Kumar,
a performer.

Malwa
(Madhya Pradesh)
It’s performed by a group of women on traditional songs. They wear colourful costumes and sway to the beats of the dhol.

Giddha (Punjab)
Punjabis love this dance form. It is performed at weddings and festivals. “Giddha is our way of carrying on the legacy of Punjab and showcasing it all over India,” says Gurinder Singh Giddha, a dancer.

Pung Cholom (Manipur)
The pung is a Manipuri drum, which is the soul of this dance.  “The dance is performed during Holi. It brings a lot of happiness to the performers and spectators,” says a performer from the group.
 

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