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Dances of Chhattisgarh

The most unique feature of Chhattisgarh is the presence of a wide spectrum of tribal groups. These groups have evolved their own language, culture, art forms, music and dances. These groups are like a world in themselves. The dances of Chhattisgarh are predominantly the dance forms practiced by the several tribal groups of the state. Dance forms are practiced by the tribal groups during festivals and occasions like marriage, child-birth, arrival of seasons, harvest, etc.

The prominent tribal dance forms here include Damkach dance, Bhagoriya dance, Sela dance, Dandari dance, Karma dance, Gendi dance, Nacha and the Panthi dance. The Bhagoriya dance form, a native of Madhya Pradesh, is celebrated on a large scale in Chhattisgarh. The God of dance is worshipped during the Bhagoriya festival. The Dandia dance of Gujarat is said to have originated from the Danderi dance of Chhattisgarh. The potential difference between the two dance forms is that in the Danderi dance form dancers use deer antlers', while the Dandia dance form uses sticks. Gendi might be perhaps the only dance form in India that uses stilts.

The Phag dance is a sword dance and in the Lota dance, women dancers perform while carrying earthen pots with water on their heads. The tribal groups of Gonds have their own dance forms. The Chaitra dance festival, celebrated among the Gonds, is a popular one. This festival is celebrated after the harvest. Chaitra dance is a medium to thank the goddess Annapurna for the harvest and seek her blessings for the next crop. The Karma dance is celebrated both by the Baigas and the Gonds. The Muria dance originates from the Murias of North Bastar.

The dances of Chhattisgarh use various props. The Sela dance uses poles and wooden sticks. Other interesting props used are deer antler's in the Dandari dance; stilts used in the Gendi dance; swords used in the Phag dance and earthen pots used in the Lota dance. Other vivid and colourful props like headgear comprising of peacock feathers, brass fillets, anklets, ghungroos, colourful tattoos, beads, etc. all add to the beauty of the dance. All dances are performed on beats of drums, bamboo trumpets and other such musical instruments locally produced by the tribal groups.

Truly, the dances of Chhattisgarh exhibit beauty, diversity, quality, energy and variety.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/13

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