West Bengal sahana ds.pptx

S
West Bengal
Folk Dance
Folk Dance of west Bengal
• Gambhira
• Chhau
• Raibenshe
• Kalikapatadi
• Dhali
• Tusu
• Kushan
• Shathali
• Baul
• Brita
• Kirtan
• Lathi
• The folk dances of West Bengal hold a special place in Bengali culture. They complement the
beautiful culture of the state, by their colorfulness and festivity.
• Initially, the folk dances were either agricultural or devotional. Gradually, the agricultural
dances gave place to dances more inclined towards devotion and religion.
• One of the famous devotional dances of Bengal is Gambhira, the sacred devotional dance
performed by worshippers of Shakti.
• The dance is named so because it is performed in the dance hall of the Chandi Mandir -
Gambhira, which has a specially constructed pavilion in front of the shrine, for the dance.
GAMBHIRA DANCE
• One of the famous devotional dances of Bengal is Gambhira, the sacred devotional dance
performed by worshippers of Shakti.
• The dance is named so because it is performed in the dance hall of the Chandi Mandir -
Gambhira, which has a specially constructed pavilion in front of the shrine, for the dance.
• The Gambhira worship-cum-festival is celebrated throughout the entire district (Maldah).
• though a few rituals of Shiva worship are celebrated in the name of Gambhirain the adjoining
districts of West Dinajpur and Murshidabad.
• The worship-cum-festival goes down in the district of Maldah as the national festival.
• So the term Gambhira has assumed the name under the impact of Sanskrit. It is true beyond any
shade of doubt that Gamira has not stemmed from the term "Gambhira”.
• https://youtu.be/fwyE-BkoHzY
• Gomira dance ( Mukha Nach or Mukha Khel ) is a rural dance form mainly practiced in the
Dakhin Dinajpur district of West Bengal , India.
• The dance is usually performed by the villagers to please the gods to welcome the 'good forces'
and ward off the 'evil forces'.
• These masks are made of Gamar wood, after making the mask then hand painted.
• Gambhira dance is performed along with musical instruments, like harmonium, flute, drum and
judi.
• A complete combination of all the art forms, like dialogue, dance, songs and music, it seems like
documentary-dance form or a folk play.
• When the chorus repeats the refrain, the two main dancers perform the dance. When they sing
and perform, the chorus takes a backstage.
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
• Gambhira dance is performed on the song of the same name.
• In this dance, there are two main dancers, who are accompanied by a chorus.
• The two main dancers perform the role of nana (maternal grandfather) and nati (grandson),
respectively.
• The dancer playing the character of nati wears a string of bells around his ankles. Through this
dance, the two dancers indulge in dialogue and express their concerns about social, political,
economic and moral problems of contemporary culture and society.
• The chorus behind them repeats the catchphrase of the song.
DHALI DANCE
• Dhali Dance was originated and developed during the reign of Raja Pratapaditya.
• Dhali dance is performed between two men whose weapons are thickly woven cane shields and
bamboo sticks.
• Drums and brass cymbals provide musical accompaniment. The main objective of this dance is
to display the dancers’ physical and martial skills.
• Dhali dance is usually arranged at folk fairs in West Bengal. Dhali is a war motive dance style
very similar to Pyrrhichios, but it expresses the defensive manner of war.
• Dhali comes from the word Dhal that refers to a shield of defense. Dhali dances portray the
shieldmen in the troops.
• This dance form is widely popular in the aboriginal community of Bengal.
• The courage, excitement, pain, emotion, offense, defense, fear, and other war feeling are
expressed by facial expression as well as dance gesture.
• Paika is another similar type of war dance in West Bengal.
• This style of dancing includes acrobatics, mock fighting, and martial orders.
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
• Dhali dance was first introduced around16th to 17th century in Pratapaditya of Jessore.
• It is assumed that the style evolved from the pre-Mohammedan period after analyzing Sanskrit
with Dhal word.
• Dhali soldiers were recruited from all classes, including Brahmins.
• The dancers use equipment like wooden military gears and tie bells in the leg while performing
an act.
• The beats and rhythm are played by dhak and kasha (Which is basically drum and gong).
• Overall, Dhali is the sacred form of dance widely prevalent in rural West Bengal and
Bangladesh, especially renowned for war-like choreography.
• The descendants of this dance are still practicing it in rural areas of Jessore and Khulna.
• The inheritor of Dhali is performed on several occasions held in West Bengal, especially in the
southern part of Sunderban.
• It is a dance that possesses high aesthetic value by its intricate maneuvers and ordered
formations.
• They are using traditional attire of Bengali dhuti, ties a red turban while performing this dance.
Unlike most war dance styles, this also majorly lead by a male dancer.
• The dance possesses a deep ascetic and inspires values of war.
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7jqVRPlZOM
KUSHAN DANCE
• The kusan is a dramatic presentation of Ramayana folk theatre that was once found in many
parts of North Bengal and Lower Assam in the part of North East India.
• It involves, singing, recitation of dialogue, acting, dancing, and musical accompaniment.
• The themes are essentially religious in nature and revolve around portions of Ram's sons Kush
and Lob in the Ramayan.
• It’s an oral tradition probably influenced by Bangla Kritibasi Ramayan and uses the local
language in the time dialogue and song.
• There is a distinctive hierarchy of performers in the kusan theatre. The main performer who is
also the leader of the group, is the 'geedal' or 'mool' who plays the main instrument, the Byana
(single stringed instrument).
• The geedal gives the narration in Bengali, in Kamatapuri or Rajbangsi as there were the areas
covered by the historical state of Kamatapur. Bengali is the official language of both Bangladesh
and West Bengal.
• The supporting singer-cum-actors are known as 'paiil' or ‘daina pail’. Secondary to the geedal is
the doaree. This secondary narrator gives almost the same narration, but instead of a more
standard Bengali (Bangla Bhasha), he translates it into a local vernacular dialect of Rangpuri or
Rajbongshi.
• Kushan dance or kushan nritya or kushan gaan is a Raj bongshi folk drama form based on
Krittivasi Ramayan.
• The artistes narrate the story of Ramayan in Kamtapuri or Rajbongshi language through musical
verses.
• The Kushan folk theater is traceable to the 15th century when the Koch dynasty ruled Assam,
West Bengal, and the current northern Bangladesh.
• The name, Kushan, has its sources in the name Kush, the second son of Sita.
• The men, called as sokra or chokra, sing and dance during the performance.
• The primary performer is known as mool or geedal - he narrates the story and the doari, the
jester, works as an intermediary between the mool and the audience through commentaries,
observations, and jokes.
• Bena, an instrument made of bamboo is used in the performances apart from aar banshi
(bamboo flute), mondira, sarinja, akhrai, violin, and harmonium. The performance starts with
ashar bandana, an auspicious song to seek the blessings of gods and goddesses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkcakNONJkc&t=578s
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
SANTHALI DANCE
• The Santhali dance form is seen in the districts of Birbhum, Bankura, Malda and Burddhaman.
• Dance is an integral part of all festivities of the Santhal community. Musical accompaniment is
provided by instruments like the Madol, Flute, Dhamsa, Jhanj, Kartal and occasionally the
Shenai.
• The songs are typically based on Taal Madol Chhanda. Dances are usually performed on a
fullmoon night and are connected with the celebration of certain rituals.
• A notable feature of the Santhal dances is the unison in movement. The dancers stand in a line
holding hands and move to the rhythm of the madol.
• Usually the women take part in the dance and the men provide the musical accompaniment.
• This is reflected in the words of a song, which accompany the Dang Dance, a dance performed
as a part of marriage rituals.
• The boys carry two types of drums, the Madal and the Lagra. They sing to the girls telling them:
"Though the drums are heavy, we carry them around dancing all the time". The girls reply, "As
we hear the beat of drums, we cannot stand still. We lift our feet and begin to dance".
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
• Simplicity of theme and language is what makes the Santhal dances so endearing.
• Nowadays, Santhali men also take part in the dances, most of which are seasonal and reflect the
ritualistic life of the Santhal community.
• Each dance form has its own distinctive rhythm and dance style. Some of the popular dances
include the Sohrai, which is a harvest dance, inviting all the village folk to come out of their
homes and join in the festivities, and the Dasai, a dance performed just before the Durga Puja,
• when the Santhali men go out to the neighbouring villages, where they sing and dance to collect
donations of rice and alms.
• The Santhal dance reflects the beauty of rural Bengal and adds colour to the palette of the folk
culture of the state.
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOC6vOReTY0
BAUL DANCE
• Baul dance connects love and spirituality.
• It aims to interact with the almighty in human beings’ souls. The modern Baul culture is very
similar to western folk music.
• It is a very prominent folk music tradition practiced in West Bengal.
• The people have high regard for folk dance due to its highly spiritual and cosmic values.There
are disagreements among people about the origins of Baul dance.
• Some believe that it came through the divine messenger. Others describe its evolution through
the generations.
• However, as per Bangla Sahiteyer Itihas, it is said that the Baul dance started in the early 15th
century, in the era of Srikrishna Kirtan.
• The traces of Baul are also found in Chaitanya Bhagavata and Chaitanya charitramitra.
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
• Some of the places renowned for this Baul Dance culture – Malda, Bankura, Birbhum,
Rampurhat, Burddhaman, Medinipur, Nadia, Dinajpur, Murshidabad etc. Earlier in the days,
Bauls are prevalent only in the village areas of West Bengal, but with the passing days, it also
cultivates in urban areas of West Bengal.
• Bauls also impacted the freedom movement with their philanthropist ideology and their eternal
art form.
• The spirituality in Baul dance is not strictly religious. Instead, it connects the people and their
glorious life
• Bengal was a distinguished and closed society since the post-medieval period that leads to a
religious constraint.
• This framework influences a group of people to revolutionize the community with their
ideology and gave birth to a group of activists and protesters called Bauls.
• Bauls used to wear a saffron cloak called alkhalla, which refers to their domestic sacrifices. The
word Baul means insane; this relates to madness and overwhelming love mentioned in a folk
song- ‘Pagol Chara Duniya Chole Na’ – this line refers to that World need insanity to survive.
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
• They are generally migrant in nature; aimlessly roaming place to place along with their Ektara
(One string Instrument), and they used to perform on that journey.
• The ancestral Baul tied bells in their legs along with the Ektara while performing Baul dance.
However, the modern generation of Bauls uses instruments like Premijuri and Dotara, Khamak
and Goopi Jantro, the Kartal and Dubki etc.
• Bauls can easily simplify complicated theories and philosophy with their soothing song lyrics.
They also possess a deep touch of mythology and spirituality in their songs.
• We can broadly classify Baul dance in two kinds- Ascetic and Saris, depending on the
traditional approaches.
• Baul is also known as Lalongeti on the most celebrated Baul Saint Lalon. Bauls generally use
Ektara (one-string instrument) while performing Baul music, scattering any discrimination and
unifying souls.
• https://youtu.be/1R7AYSd14jM
• https://youtube.com/shorts/eubo6Yf1yAY?feature=share
BRITA DANCE
• Music and beats run in the veins of Bengali people. There are several kinds of folk music and
dances prevalent in various parts of the state.
• Amongst the chosen few, the Brita Dance, also known as Vrita Dance, is considered to be very
special. In Bengali culture, the Vrita is more than a simple dance.
• In fact, it is considered to be a prayer, full of thankfulness, from the devotee to the almighty and
as such, has religious overtures.
• Brita Dance is actually a traditional folk dance of West Bengal.
• It is generally performed by the barren women of the state, in order to invoke the blessings of
the Gods, so that their wishes for a child are fulfilled.
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
• After getting their wishes are granted, the women again dance in the temple premises, to
appease the deity and thank him for his blessings.
• The dance is also performed after recovery from a life threatening crisis or a contagious disease,
like small pox or chicken pox. It is still prevalent in rural Bengal.
• Brita dance or Vrita dance is a traditional folk dance from West Bengal , India.
• It is performed by the women in rural areas to ask the deity to bless them with children and to
show gratitude for helping them recover from contagious diseases like chicken pox .
• The folk dance is performed on the temple premises, both before and after their wishes are
fulfilled.
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
CHHAU DANCE
• Chhau dance is an eastern Indian style that recreates scenes from epics such as the Mahabharata
and Ramayana, as well as local folklore and abstract concepts.
• Chhau dance is closely linked to regional festivities, particularly Chaitra Parva in the spring.
The bhakti movement that resulted gave birth to a whole new set of lyrical and musical genres.
• Chhau dance originated in the Kalinga (Odisha) region of India and is a semi-classical Indian
dance with martial and folk traditions
• The name Chhau comes from the word 'Chhaya,' which means shadow.
• It's a type of mask dance that tells mythological stories via ferocious martial moves. Natural
themes, such as Sarpa nritya (serpent dance) or Mayur Nritya (peacock dance), are also used in
some narrations
• Saraikela Chhau in Jharkhand, Mayurbhanj Chhau in Odisha, and Purulia Chhau in West Bengal
are the three main genres of Chhau dance.
• Mayurbhanj Chhau artists are the only ones who don't use masks.
• The Chhau dance is primarily done at festivals in Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha,
particularly the Chaitra Parva spring festival, in which the entire community takes part.
• During the Sun Festival, the Purulia Chhau dance is performed.
• Chhau dance is performed by artists from the Purulia area of West Bengal.
• Masks are an important feature of Purulia and Seraikella Chhau dance.
• Oral transmission of dance, music, and mask-making knowledge is common.
• The Chhau dance, which originated in northern Odisha, does not utilise masks throughout the
performance, but it does when the artists first appear on stage for introductions to the audience.
• The two mask-wearing styles of Chhau dance combine forms of dance and martial arts,
including fake combat techniques (called khel), stylized bird and animal gaits (called chalis and
topkas), and movements based on village housewives' tasks.
• Male dancers do the dance in an open location called akhada or asar at night. The dance is
rhythmic and set to traditional folk music performed on the mohuri and shehnai reed pipes.
• The music ensemble is accompanied by a variety of drums, including the dhol (a cylinder
drum), the dhumsa (a big kettle drum), and the kharka or chad-chadi.
• Local stories, folklore, and episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as other
abstract concepts, are among the themes for these dances.
• Chhau is an important aspect of these communities' culture. It brings together people from
various social classes and ethnic backgrounds, as well as people who have different social
behaviors, beliefs, vocations, and languages.
https://youtu.be/-6GvAxdEL5s
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
KIRTAN DANCE
• Kirtan dance is one of the most common folk-dances performed in the West Bengal state of
India. Kirtan involves chanting hymns or mantras while dancing to the accompaniment of
certain instruments.
• Also in Sanskrit the verb 'Krit' means praising. Kirtan dance is related to the worship of Lord
Vishnu and has great antiquity attached to it.
• This dance was given its proper form by the great religious revivalist, Chaitanya Deva.
• The person who performs this dance is called as a ‘kirtankar’ or, colloquially, a ‘kirtaneer’.
• The most outstanding feature of the kirtan dance is that it can be performed by members of the
whole village without any distinction on the basis of caste, class or religion.
• Thus the rich and poor, young and old, zamindar and tenant all freely participate in it.
• The dance is quite simple with the devotees forming a ring and moving round in a circular
pattern raising and lowering their hands with the beating of the musical instruments.
• Generally, two types of musical instruments are used to accompany the dance performance
which includes Khol and drum
• This dance has great spiritual fervour attached to it. In it the spiritual sentiments of the dancers
rise up to the surface level and conclude with a feeling of religious ecstasy.
• At times this dance is performed through a procession taken through the village.
• Such type of dance is known as called 'Nagar-Kirtan'.
• https://youtu.be/W9yR2JAkO_w
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
LATHI DANCE
• Lathi dance becomes prominent during the Muharram day in West Bengal state of India.
• It stretches for over ten days exhibiting various expressions such as remorse, anger, pain and
love through its several sections.
• During the first ten days of Muharram, the Lathi players demonstrate their art in the courtyards
of houses, at cross sections of roads and finally at the mock Karbala ground.
• The Lathi used in Lathi dance is basically of a 6 to 8 foot long bamboo stick sometimes tipped
with a metal blunt and it is used like a sword by swinging it back and forth like a sword.
• Besides Lathi, various other props are also used in this dance form. The dancers use drums and
brass cymbals to maintain the rhythm and tempo of the dance.
• Sometimes, they also hold bamboo sticks, which are about four or five feet long.
• Along with it, they carry swords, daggers and cymbals.The role of the drummer is very
important in this dance performance, as he guides the moves, tempo and rhythm of the dancers.
• The dance is actually divided into several sections like an introduction, different warlike stances,
the fight, resolution and rest.
• With sticks and big swords in their hands, the dancers demonstrate their valour by way of a
mock battle.
• The dancers skilfully whirl their sticks, moving them to the front or to the sides, then under their
legs or over their heads in time to the music.
• The fierce clashes of the sticks produce a feel of battle scene. The tempo of the dance begins on
a slower note and with time it reaches its crescendo.
• The performers with their various movements, steps and actions create a warlike atmosphere.
• Lathi dance is generally performed by a group of youths and can see the enthusiasm in their
looks which is duly maintained.
• The way they balance their expressions and rhythm with the sound of drums clearly gives and
impression of its being like a sport event.
• Lathi dancers usually wear close-fitting garments while performing this dance. These kinds of
outfits help to enact the movements and actions more clearly and freely.
• Sometimes, they also tie strings of bells round their ankles.
• https://youtu.be/4xeTNFlHcJw
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
TUSU DANCE
• The Tusu Dance of Birbhum district is one of them.
• It is basically performed in the month of Pausa, during the Gregorian months of December and
January.
• The dance is basically related to the Tusu Parab (Tusu Festival), which is celebrated on the day
of Makar Sankranti.
• Tusu dance is basically the celebration of the arrival of an auspicious and pleasant season.
• Groups of girls from the district go to the riverside every evening, in the Pausa month, to sing
and perform.
• On the day of Makar Sankranti, they gather together at the riverside, to worship the clay and
cowdung idol of Goddess Tusu.
• They sing and perform dances in front of the deity, asking for a good groom.
• The dance is very elegant and graceful and creates a wonderful atmosphere, when accompanied
by a melodious song from the rich collection of Tusu music.
• The entire Tusu dance has traditional-folk essence attached to it.
• The dance is performed by men as well, when it is known as ' Bhaduriya Saila'.
• In Tusu dance man move in clockwise direction and the women in anti-clockwise direction.
• It is basically performed by unmarried girls and boys and at some places, it is mandatory to be
performed by a virgin girl.
• It is customary for the dancers to take a ceremonial bath in the river before this performance.
The dance is performed in groups and is simple in nature, without any accompanying musical
instrument.
• Tusu Dance is a folk dance popular in West Bengal state of India. It is mostly practiced in group
and men and women equally participate in this dance.
• It is performed during the harvest festival to celebrate the coming crop.
• Tusu dance is also popular in various other districts of West Bengal such as Purulia and
Medinipur.
• This tribal dance which derived its origin from the cultural roots of Birbhum district is basically
related to the Tusu Parab or Tusu Festival.
• The Tusu Parab is held in Birbhum on the occasion of Makar Sankranti where in its
performance groups of young girls gather every evening throughout the month of Pousa which
falls on December-January and participate in singing various local songs and dance to their
rhythm.
• The local songs are popularly known as Tusu in Bengal. While performing, some of the girls
sing devotional verses and some others dance in sync with the vocal melodies.
• On the day of Makara Sankranti, the groups gather at one place and go to the village to a nearby
tank or river with the goddess Tusu symbolized in small clay figurines or sometimes merely as
cow-dung balls.
• After taking a sacred bath, they all worship the goddess and make offerings of rice to the deity
as a token of respect and love.
• Different groups meet, sing songs near the riverbank or the pond and compete with each other.
• This creates an environment of happiness.
• Tusu Parab in Bengal does not involve any kind of musical instrument as such.
• This dance is enriched by vocal variations only. The men too have their particular songs and
dances for the occasion, known as the Bhaduriya Saila.
• The performance of the dance is more traditional in nature, where the men dance in circles
clock-wise and anti-clockwise direction.
In some parts, the unmarried girls perform it.
• For them, Tusu, performed with graceful movements and elegance fulfils their desire of
marriage.
• The Tusu dance has its tremendous store of songs, which reflect different stories and the
experiences of livelihood. Tusu dance comprises of simple movements and the songs are deeply
related with nature and provide spirit for living.
• https://youtu.be/CZCXNoIzJLo
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
KALIKAPATADI DANCE
• Kalikapatadi Dance Form is mainly Perform in WestBangal,The main story of this
Kalikapatadi Bengali dance form is ‘how Shiva calms down angry Kali after killing Asura.
• It is more prevalent in Howrah. Before the coronation of Shiva on Neelpuja Day (Chaitra
Sankranti), the performance of this dance is a must.
• And also the green leaves of water hyacinth is used to make the hair of Kali and the black ash
of Ganja to decorate the body.
• Clay mask is used for Mahadeva. Palm leaves reddened with Alta is used as the tongue of
Kali. Participants go on fast for the whole day.
• The dance is being performed for nearly five-hundred years.
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
RAIBENSHE DANCE
• Raibenshe dance is a genre of Indian folk martial dance popular in the West Bengal state of
India.
• Rai means royal, kingly and bansh or bansha means bamboo.
• This dance is exclusively performed by men who belong to the Bauris, Domes and other
depressed castes of the Hindu community.
• Dance is a popular pastime and integral part of these communities and this dance reflects their
way of life very closely.
This folk dance form of West Bengal is remarkable for its varied expressions of military energy
and depiction of martial arts.
• These dances serve as a reminder of the military prowess of the Bengalis.
• The Khasi Tribe aids them by contributing rhythm to their dance along with playing the dhol
also.
• In the earlier days, Raibenshe dance was performed by Bagdi community, who worked as the
bodyguards of the landlords in medieval Bengal.
• Presently, Raibenshe dance is mostly performed in the western regions of Birbhum, Bardhaman
and Murshidabad.
• Raibeshe dance is considered as one of the manliest and energetic folk dance of Bengal.
• Along with the vigorous and manly movements, it involves acrobatics of a raibansh which is a
long bamboo stick, from which its name originated.
• No songs are sung or verses recited during this martial dance.
• Instead, this dance is accompanied with wild yells of men, and punctuated with gestures that
suggest drawing of bows from the quiver, throwing of spears, brandishing of knives and
flourishing of swords, scimitar.
• At times, the dancers proceed in a squat position towards the middle of the ring alternatively
joining in and out while bending knees.
• This dance position imitates the hunters riding on the back of a horse.
• At other times the dancers form pairs where one of the partner stands on the shoulder of the
other partner moving hands and arms.
• The upper partner performs the head movements and lower partner performs the foot
movements.
• This performance requires high acrobatic skill and practice. Musical instruments like dhols
(drums) and Kanshis (cymbals) accompany this dance form.
• Raibenshe dancers usually prefer to wear comfortable attires so that they can perform the steps,
specially the aerobatics one, quite flexibly.
• Mainly, the dancers prefer a dhoti which is the traditional dress of Bengali men. It is worn with
a strip of red cloth signifying spirit and valour.
• The dancers also wear brass anklets known as 'nupurs' on their right ankle during their
performance.
• Apart from traditional dancers, Raibenshe dance is also practiced by various professional
dancers who do not belong to the above mentioned communities.
• This dance is also popularly included in various school shows.
• Many notable dancers even trying to revive this martial dance form by keeping its originally
intact.
• https://youtu.be/Fqy2g5aTzpI
West Bengal sahana ds.pptx
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West Bengal sahana ds.pptx

  • 2. Folk Dance of west Bengal • Gambhira • Chhau • Raibenshe • Kalikapatadi • Dhali • Tusu • Kushan • Shathali • Baul • Brita • Kirtan • Lathi
  • 3. • The folk dances of West Bengal hold a special place in Bengali culture. They complement the beautiful culture of the state, by their colorfulness and festivity. • Initially, the folk dances were either agricultural or devotional. Gradually, the agricultural dances gave place to dances more inclined towards devotion and religion. • One of the famous devotional dances of Bengal is Gambhira, the sacred devotional dance performed by worshippers of Shakti. • The dance is named so because it is performed in the dance hall of the Chandi Mandir - Gambhira, which has a specially constructed pavilion in front of the shrine, for the dance.
  • 4. GAMBHIRA DANCE • One of the famous devotional dances of Bengal is Gambhira, the sacred devotional dance performed by worshippers of Shakti. • The dance is named so because it is performed in the dance hall of the Chandi Mandir - Gambhira, which has a specially constructed pavilion in front of the shrine, for the dance. • The Gambhira worship-cum-festival is celebrated throughout the entire district (Maldah). • though a few rituals of Shiva worship are celebrated in the name of Gambhirain the adjoining districts of West Dinajpur and Murshidabad. • The worship-cum-festival goes down in the district of Maldah as the national festival. • So the term Gambhira has assumed the name under the impact of Sanskrit. It is true beyond any shade of doubt that Gamira has not stemmed from the term "Gambhira”. • https://youtu.be/fwyE-BkoHzY
  • 5. • Gomira dance ( Mukha Nach or Mukha Khel ) is a rural dance form mainly practiced in the Dakhin Dinajpur district of West Bengal , India. • The dance is usually performed by the villagers to please the gods to welcome the 'good forces' and ward off the 'evil forces'. • These masks are made of Gamar wood, after making the mask then hand painted. • Gambhira dance is performed along with musical instruments, like harmonium, flute, drum and judi. • A complete combination of all the art forms, like dialogue, dance, songs and music, it seems like documentary-dance form or a folk play. • When the chorus repeats the refrain, the two main dancers perform the dance. When they sing and perform, the chorus takes a backstage.
  • 7. • Gambhira dance is performed on the song of the same name. • In this dance, there are two main dancers, who are accompanied by a chorus. • The two main dancers perform the role of nana (maternal grandfather) and nati (grandson), respectively. • The dancer playing the character of nati wears a string of bells around his ankles. Through this dance, the two dancers indulge in dialogue and express their concerns about social, political, economic and moral problems of contemporary culture and society. • The chorus behind them repeats the catchphrase of the song.
  • 8. DHALI DANCE • Dhali Dance was originated and developed during the reign of Raja Pratapaditya. • Dhali dance is performed between two men whose weapons are thickly woven cane shields and bamboo sticks. • Drums and brass cymbals provide musical accompaniment. The main objective of this dance is to display the dancers’ physical and martial skills. • Dhali dance is usually arranged at folk fairs in West Bengal. Dhali is a war motive dance style very similar to Pyrrhichios, but it expresses the defensive manner of war. • Dhali comes from the word Dhal that refers to a shield of defense. Dhali dances portray the shieldmen in the troops. • This dance form is widely popular in the aboriginal community of Bengal. • The courage, excitement, pain, emotion, offense, defense, fear, and other war feeling are expressed by facial expression as well as dance gesture. • Paika is another similar type of war dance in West Bengal. • This style of dancing includes acrobatics, mock fighting, and martial orders.
  • 10. • Dhali dance was first introduced around16th to 17th century in Pratapaditya of Jessore. • It is assumed that the style evolved from the pre-Mohammedan period after analyzing Sanskrit with Dhal word. • Dhali soldiers were recruited from all classes, including Brahmins. • The dancers use equipment like wooden military gears and tie bells in the leg while performing an act. • The beats and rhythm are played by dhak and kasha (Which is basically drum and gong). • Overall, Dhali is the sacred form of dance widely prevalent in rural West Bengal and Bangladesh, especially renowned for war-like choreography.
  • 11. • The descendants of this dance are still practicing it in rural areas of Jessore and Khulna. • The inheritor of Dhali is performed on several occasions held in West Bengal, especially in the southern part of Sunderban. • It is a dance that possesses high aesthetic value by its intricate maneuvers and ordered formations. • They are using traditional attire of Bengali dhuti, ties a red turban while performing this dance. Unlike most war dance styles, this also majorly lead by a male dancer. • The dance possesses a deep ascetic and inspires values of war. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7jqVRPlZOM
  • 12. KUSHAN DANCE • The kusan is a dramatic presentation of Ramayana folk theatre that was once found in many parts of North Bengal and Lower Assam in the part of North East India. • It involves, singing, recitation of dialogue, acting, dancing, and musical accompaniment. • The themes are essentially religious in nature and revolve around portions of Ram's sons Kush and Lob in the Ramayan. • It’s an oral tradition probably influenced by Bangla Kritibasi Ramayan and uses the local language in the time dialogue and song. • There is a distinctive hierarchy of performers in the kusan theatre. The main performer who is also the leader of the group, is the 'geedal' or 'mool' who plays the main instrument, the Byana (single stringed instrument). • The geedal gives the narration in Bengali, in Kamatapuri or Rajbangsi as there were the areas covered by the historical state of Kamatapur. Bengali is the official language of both Bangladesh and West Bengal. • The supporting singer-cum-actors are known as 'paiil' or ‘daina pail’. Secondary to the geedal is the doaree. This secondary narrator gives almost the same narration, but instead of a more standard Bengali (Bangla Bhasha), he translates it into a local vernacular dialect of Rangpuri or Rajbongshi.
  • 13. • Kushan dance or kushan nritya or kushan gaan is a Raj bongshi folk drama form based on Krittivasi Ramayan. • The artistes narrate the story of Ramayan in Kamtapuri or Rajbongshi language through musical verses. • The Kushan folk theater is traceable to the 15th century when the Koch dynasty ruled Assam, West Bengal, and the current northern Bangladesh. • The name, Kushan, has its sources in the name Kush, the second son of Sita. • The men, called as sokra or chokra, sing and dance during the performance. • The primary performer is known as mool or geedal - he narrates the story and the doari, the jester, works as an intermediary between the mool and the audience through commentaries, observations, and jokes. • Bena, an instrument made of bamboo is used in the performances apart from aar banshi (bamboo flute), mondira, sarinja, akhrai, violin, and harmonium. The performance starts with ashar bandana, an auspicious song to seek the blessings of gods and goddesses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkcakNONJkc&t=578s
  • 15. SANTHALI DANCE • The Santhali dance form is seen in the districts of Birbhum, Bankura, Malda and Burddhaman. • Dance is an integral part of all festivities of the Santhal community. Musical accompaniment is provided by instruments like the Madol, Flute, Dhamsa, Jhanj, Kartal and occasionally the Shenai. • The songs are typically based on Taal Madol Chhanda. Dances are usually performed on a fullmoon night and are connected with the celebration of certain rituals. • A notable feature of the Santhal dances is the unison in movement. The dancers stand in a line holding hands and move to the rhythm of the madol. • Usually the women take part in the dance and the men provide the musical accompaniment. • This is reflected in the words of a song, which accompany the Dang Dance, a dance performed as a part of marriage rituals. • The boys carry two types of drums, the Madal and the Lagra. They sing to the girls telling them: "Though the drums are heavy, we carry them around dancing all the time". The girls reply, "As we hear the beat of drums, we cannot stand still. We lift our feet and begin to dance".
  • 18. • Simplicity of theme and language is what makes the Santhal dances so endearing. • Nowadays, Santhali men also take part in the dances, most of which are seasonal and reflect the ritualistic life of the Santhal community. • Each dance form has its own distinctive rhythm and dance style. Some of the popular dances include the Sohrai, which is a harvest dance, inviting all the village folk to come out of their homes and join in the festivities, and the Dasai, a dance performed just before the Durga Puja, • when the Santhali men go out to the neighbouring villages, where they sing and dance to collect donations of rice and alms. • The Santhal dance reflects the beauty of rural Bengal and adds colour to the palette of the folk culture of the state. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOC6vOReTY0
  • 19. BAUL DANCE • Baul dance connects love and spirituality. • It aims to interact with the almighty in human beings’ souls. The modern Baul culture is very similar to western folk music. • It is a very prominent folk music tradition practiced in West Bengal. • The people have high regard for folk dance due to its highly spiritual and cosmic values.There are disagreements among people about the origins of Baul dance. • Some believe that it came through the divine messenger. Others describe its evolution through the generations. • However, as per Bangla Sahiteyer Itihas, it is said that the Baul dance started in the early 15th century, in the era of Srikrishna Kirtan. • The traces of Baul are also found in Chaitanya Bhagavata and Chaitanya charitramitra.
  • 21. • Some of the places renowned for this Baul Dance culture – Malda, Bankura, Birbhum, Rampurhat, Burddhaman, Medinipur, Nadia, Dinajpur, Murshidabad etc. Earlier in the days, Bauls are prevalent only in the village areas of West Bengal, but with the passing days, it also cultivates in urban areas of West Bengal. • Bauls also impacted the freedom movement with their philanthropist ideology and their eternal art form. • The spirituality in Baul dance is not strictly religious. Instead, it connects the people and their glorious life • Bengal was a distinguished and closed society since the post-medieval period that leads to a religious constraint. • This framework influences a group of people to revolutionize the community with their ideology and gave birth to a group of activists and protesters called Bauls. • Bauls used to wear a saffron cloak called alkhalla, which refers to their domestic sacrifices. The word Baul means insane; this relates to madness and overwhelming love mentioned in a folk song- ‘Pagol Chara Duniya Chole Na’ – this line refers to that World need insanity to survive.
  • 23. • They are generally migrant in nature; aimlessly roaming place to place along with their Ektara (One string Instrument), and they used to perform on that journey. • The ancestral Baul tied bells in their legs along with the Ektara while performing Baul dance. However, the modern generation of Bauls uses instruments like Premijuri and Dotara, Khamak and Goopi Jantro, the Kartal and Dubki etc. • Bauls can easily simplify complicated theories and philosophy with their soothing song lyrics. They also possess a deep touch of mythology and spirituality in their songs. • We can broadly classify Baul dance in two kinds- Ascetic and Saris, depending on the traditional approaches. • Baul is also known as Lalongeti on the most celebrated Baul Saint Lalon. Bauls generally use Ektara (one-string instrument) while performing Baul music, scattering any discrimination and unifying souls. • https://youtu.be/1R7AYSd14jM • https://youtube.com/shorts/eubo6Yf1yAY?feature=share
  • 24. BRITA DANCE • Music and beats run in the veins of Bengali people. There are several kinds of folk music and dances prevalent in various parts of the state. • Amongst the chosen few, the Brita Dance, also known as Vrita Dance, is considered to be very special. In Bengali culture, the Vrita is more than a simple dance. • In fact, it is considered to be a prayer, full of thankfulness, from the devotee to the almighty and as such, has religious overtures. • Brita Dance is actually a traditional folk dance of West Bengal. • It is generally performed by the barren women of the state, in order to invoke the blessings of the Gods, so that their wishes for a child are fulfilled.
  • 26. • After getting their wishes are granted, the women again dance in the temple premises, to appease the deity and thank him for his blessings. • The dance is also performed after recovery from a life threatening crisis or a contagious disease, like small pox or chicken pox. It is still prevalent in rural Bengal. • Brita dance or Vrita dance is a traditional folk dance from West Bengal , India. • It is performed by the women in rural areas to ask the deity to bless them with children and to show gratitude for helping them recover from contagious diseases like chicken pox . • The folk dance is performed on the temple premises, both before and after their wishes are fulfilled.
  • 28. CHHAU DANCE • Chhau dance is an eastern Indian style that recreates scenes from epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as local folklore and abstract concepts. • Chhau dance is closely linked to regional festivities, particularly Chaitra Parva in the spring. The bhakti movement that resulted gave birth to a whole new set of lyrical and musical genres. • Chhau dance originated in the Kalinga (Odisha) region of India and is a semi-classical Indian dance with martial and folk traditions • The name Chhau comes from the word 'Chhaya,' which means shadow. • It's a type of mask dance that tells mythological stories via ferocious martial moves. Natural themes, such as Sarpa nritya (serpent dance) or Mayur Nritya (peacock dance), are also used in some narrations • Saraikela Chhau in Jharkhand, Mayurbhanj Chhau in Odisha, and Purulia Chhau in West Bengal are the three main genres of Chhau dance. • Mayurbhanj Chhau artists are the only ones who don't use masks.
  • 29. • The Chhau dance is primarily done at festivals in Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha, particularly the Chaitra Parva spring festival, in which the entire community takes part. • During the Sun Festival, the Purulia Chhau dance is performed. • Chhau dance is performed by artists from the Purulia area of West Bengal. • Masks are an important feature of Purulia and Seraikella Chhau dance. • Oral transmission of dance, music, and mask-making knowledge is common. • The Chhau dance, which originated in northern Odisha, does not utilise masks throughout the performance, but it does when the artists first appear on stage for introductions to the audience. • The two mask-wearing styles of Chhau dance combine forms of dance and martial arts, including fake combat techniques (called khel), stylized bird and animal gaits (called chalis and topkas), and movements based on village housewives' tasks. • Male dancers do the dance in an open location called akhada or asar at night. The dance is rhythmic and set to traditional folk music performed on the mohuri and shehnai reed pipes.
  • 30. • The music ensemble is accompanied by a variety of drums, including the dhol (a cylinder drum), the dhumsa (a big kettle drum), and the kharka or chad-chadi. • Local stories, folklore, and episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as other abstract concepts, are among the themes for these dances. • Chhau is an important aspect of these communities' culture. It brings together people from various social classes and ethnic backgrounds, as well as people who have different social behaviors, beliefs, vocations, and languages. https://youtu.be/-6GvAxdEL5s
  • 32. KIRTAN DANCE • Kirtan dance is one of the most common folk-dances performed in the West Bengal state of India. Kirtan involves chanting hymns or mantras while dancing to the accompaniment of certain instruments. • Also in Sanskrit the verb 'Krit' means praising. Kirtan dance is related to the worship of Lord Vishnu and has great antiquity attached to it. • This dance was given its proper form by the great religious revivalist, Chaitanya Deva. • The person who performs this dance is called as a ‘kirtankar’ or, colloquially, a ‘kirtaneer’. • The most outstanding feature of the kirtan dance is that it can be performed by members of the whole village without any distinction on the basis of caste, class or religion. • Thus the rich and poor, young and old, zamindar and tenant all freely participate in it. • The dance is quite simple with the devotees forming a ring and moving round in a circular pattern raising and lowering their hands with the beating of the musical instruments.
  • 33. • Generally, two types of musical instruments are used to accompany the dance performance which includes Khol and drum • This dance has great spiritual fervour attached to it. In it the spiritual sentiments of the dancers rise up to the surface level and conclude with a feeling of religious ecstasy. • At times this dance is performed through a procession taken through the village. • Such type of dance is known as called 'Nagar-Kirtan'. • https://youtu.be/W9yR2JAkO_w
  • 35. LATHI DANCE • Lathi dance becomes prominent during the Muharram day in West Bengal state of India. • It stretches for over ten days exhibiting various expressions such as remorse, anger, pain and love through its several sections. • During the first ten days of Muharram, the Lathi players demonstrate their art in the courtyards of houses, at cross sections of roads and finally at the mock Karbala ground. • The Lathi used in Lathi dance is basically of a 6 to 8 foot long bamboo stick sometimes tipped with a metal blunt and it is used like a sword by swinging it back and forth like a sword. • Besides Lathi, various other props are also used in this dance form. The dancers use drums and brass cymbals to maintain the rhythm and tempo of the dance. • Sometimes, they also hold bamboo sticks, which are about four or five feet long. • Along with it, they carry swords, daggers and cymbals.The role of the drummer is very important in this dance performance, as he guides the moves, tempo and rhythm of the dancers. • The dance is actually divided into several sections like an introduction, different warlike stances, the fight, resolution and rest.
  • 36. • With sticks and big swords in their hands, the dancers demonstrate their valour by way of a mock battle. • The dancers skilfully whirl their sticks, moving them to the front or to the sides, then under their legs or over their heads in time to the music. • The fierce clashes of the sticks produce a feel of battle scene. The tempo of the dance begins on a slower note and with time it reaches its crescendo. • The performers with their various movements, steps and actions create a warlike atmosphere. • Lathi dance is generally performed by a group of youths and can see the enthusiasm in their looks which is duly maintained. • The way they balance their expressions and rhythm with the sound of drums clearly gives and impression of its being like a sport event. • Lathi dancers usually wear close-fitting garments while performing this dance. These kinds of outfits help to enact the movements and actions more clearly and freely. • Sometimes, they also tie strings of bells round their ankles. • https://youtu.be/4xeTNFlHcJw
  • 38. TUSU DANCE • The Tusu Dance of Birbhum district is one of them. • It is basically performed in the month of Pausa, during the Gregorian months of December and January. • The dance is basically related to the Tusu Parab (Tusu Festival), which is celebrated on the day of Makar Sankranti. • Tusu dance is basically the celebration of the arrival of an auspicious and pleasant season. • Groups of girls from the district go to the riverside every evening, in the Pausa month, to sing and perform. • On the day of Makar Sankranti, they gather together at the riverside, to worship the clay and cowdung idol of Goddess Tusu. • They sing and perform dances in front of the deity, asking for a good groom. • The dance is very elegant and graceful and creates a wonderful atmosphere, when accompanied by a melodious song from the rich collection of Tusu music.
  • 39. • The entire Tusu dance has traditional-folk essence attached to it. • The dance is performed by men as well, when it is known as ' Bhaduriya Saila'. • In Tusu dance man move in clockwise direction and the women in anti-clockwise direction. • It is basically performed by unmarried girls and boys and at some places, it is mandatory to be performed by a virgin girl. • It is customary for the dancers to take a ceremonial bath in the river before this performance. The dance is performed in groups and is simple in nature, without any accompanying musical instrument. • Tusu Dance is a folk dance popular in West Bengal state of India. It is mostly practiced in group and men and women equally participate in this dance. • It is performed during the harvest festival to celebrate the coming crop. • Tusu dance is also popular in various other districts of West Bengal such as Purulia and Medinipur.
  • 40. • This tribal dance which derived its origin from the cultural roots of Birbhum district is basically related to the Tusu Parab or Tusu Festival. • The Tusu Parab is held in Birbhum on the occasion of Makar Sankranti where in its performance groups of young girls gather every evening throughout the month of Pousa which falls on December-January and participate in singing various local songs and dance to their rhythm. • The local songs are popularly known as Tusu in Bengal. While performing, some of the girls sing devotional verses and some others dance in sync with the vocal melodies. • On the day of Makara Sankranti, the groups gather at one place and go to the village to a nearby tank or river with the goddess Tusu symbolized in small clay figurines or sometimes merely as cow-dung balls. • After taking a sacred bath, they all worship the goddess and make offerings of rice to the deity as a token of respect and love. • Different groups meet, sing songs near the riverbank or the pond and compete with each other.
  • 41. • This creates an environment of happiness. • Tusu Parab in Bengal does not involve any kind of musical instrument as such. • This dance is enriched by vocal variations only. The men too have their particular songs and dances for the occasion, known as the Bhaduriya Saila. • The performance of the dance is more traditional in nature, where the men dance in circles clock-wise and anti-clockwise direction. In some parts, the unmarried girls perform it. • For them, Tusu, performed with graceful movements and elegance fulfils their desire of marriage. • The Tusu dance has its tremendous store of songs, which reflect different stories and the experiences of livelihood. Tusu dance comprises of simple movements and the songs are deeply related with nature and provide spirit for living. • https://youtu.be/CZCXNoIzJLo
  • 43. KALIKAPATADI DANCE • Kalikapatadi Dance Form is mainly Perform in WestBangal,The main story of this Kalikapatadi Bengali dance form is ‘how Shiva calms down angry Kali after killing Asura. • It is more prevalent in Howrah. Before the coronation of Shiva on Neelpuja Day (Chaitra Sankranti), the performance of this dance is a must. • And also the green leaves of water hyacinth is used to make the hair of Kali and the black ash of Ganja to decorate the body. • Clay mask is used for Mahadeva. Palm leaves reddened with Alta is used as the tongue of Kali. Participants go on fast for the whole day. • The dance is being performed for nearly five-hundred years.
  • 45. RAIBENSHE DANCE • Raibenshe dance is a genre of Indian folk martial dance popular in the West Bengal state of India. • Rai means royal, kingly and bansh or bansha means bamboo. • This dance is exclusively performed by men who belong to the Bauris, Domes and other depressed castes of the Hindu community. • Dance is a popular pastime and integral part of these communities and this dance reflects their way of life very closely. This folk dance form of West Bengal is remarkable for its varied expressions of military energy and depiction of martial arts. • These dances serve as a reminder of the military prowess of the Bengalis. • The Khasi Tribe aids them by contributing rhythm to their dance along with playing the dhol also.
  • 46. • In the earlier days, Raibenshe dance was performed by Bagdi community, who worked as the bodyguards of the landlords in medieval Bengal. • Presently, Raibenshe dance is mostly performed in the western regions of Birbhum, Bardhaman and Murshidabad. • Raibeshe dance is considered as one of the manliest and energetic folk dance of Bengal. • Along with the vigorous and manly movements, it involves acrobatics of a raibansh which is a long bamboo stick, from which its name originated. • No songs are sung or verses recited during this martial dance. • Instead, this dance is accompanied with wild yells of men, and punctuated with gestures that suggest drawing of bows from the quiver, throwing of spears, brandishing of knives and flourishing of swords, scimitar. • At times, the dancers proceed in a squat position towards the middle of the ring alternatively joining in and out while bending knees.
  • 47. • This dance position imitates the hunters riding on the back of a horse. • At other times the dancers form pairs where one of the partner stands on the shoulder of the other partner moving hands and arms. • The upper partner performs the head movements and lower partner performs the foot movements. • This performance requires high acrobatic skill and practice. Musical instruments like dhols (drums) and Kanshis (cymbals) accompany this dance form. • Raibenshe dancers usually prefer to wear comfortable attires so that they can perform the steps, specially the aerobatics one, quite flexibly. • Mainly, the dancers prefer a dhoti which is the traditional dress of Bengali men. It is worn with a strip of red cloth signifying spirit and valour.
  • 48. • The dancers also wear brass anklets known as 'nupurs' on their right ankle during their performance. • Apart from traditional dancers, Raibenshe dance is also practiced by various professional dancers who do not belong to the above mentioned communities. • This dance is also popularly included in various school shows. • Many notable dancers even trying to revive this martial dance form by keeping its originally intact. • https://youtu.be/Fqy2g5aTzpI