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Anaarkali of Aarah: Life as a wedding dancer in Bihar

Apr 24, 2017 17:22 IST
about the video

The history of the dance shows now prevalent at functions across Bihar is less than 50 years old. Women stage dancers in Bihar were first seen working as fillers during nautanki, a form of operatic folk theatre that travelled from eastern Uttar Pradesh to neighbouring Bihar. Gradually, female live dancers broke away and begun performing—singing and light dancing—at events. Naach became a regular feature in parties hosted by landlords and upper-class politicians in rustic Bihar. Consequently, female singers and then dancers started replacing male singers in Bihar’s orchestras in the 1980s. In 2005, after the Maharashtra state government banned dance bars, many of those dancers came to Bihar in search of work. Three years later, YouTube launched in India and erotic music videos of dui arthiya (double meaning) songs by Bhojpuri folk singers such as Tarabano Faizabadi were put on the site, contributing to the current shape and scale of Bihar’s live entertainment industry.