Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Himachal Pradesh



The Jhoori, Gi, Swang Tegi and Rasa dances

The Jhoori, Thadair, Rasa, Gi, Nati, Swang Tegi, Draudi and Padua are popular dance forms of Sirmaur and the surrounding area.

Jhoori is danced in the open. It is danced to questions and answers delivered in musical tones. Each line ends with Hoo Hoo sounds.

The Gi dance is performed to an intricate beat of three divisions. The singers stand in a circle and the dancers stand in the middle rotating with arms outstretched.

The Dhadair or Thadair is danced to the Rudra Tal. In this the dancers hold aloft weapon like bows, arrows, knives or sticks and yell too as they move towards their imaginary adversaries. This song repeat scenes from the local history.

In the Rasa dance, the dancers step back and forth and sit and leap up alternatively as they dance. This dance form is symbolic of the unity of the people.

Swang Tegi  is a free dance which copies the gestures of animals. This is danced during the Diwali festival with the dancers wearing tiger masks carved out of wood. Dharvedi and Droondu are religious dances arranged during Jagaras or Shant. In these, scenes from the battlefields or temple and stupa shapes are presented. Dancing in circles and suddenly lying down on the ground and striking various poses are some of the chief features of these dances. These are danced with great fervour. These dances can be seen during the Dussera season in Kulu.

Khaydayat and Lamba dances

In these dance forms the dancers hold a sword in one hand and a scabbard in another and dance in a circle. The deft sword-play among the dancers is a delightful part of this dance and is more important than the musical or rhythmic aspect of dance. At the time the musicians quicken the tempo and the rest of the dancers cease to dance and stand quietly. The dance re-invokes memories of the feudal past.

The Lamba dance lays more stress on the movement of the feet. In this the dancers with first movement put the right foot forward and then the left and then the right again and in the fourth movement revert back to their original position. At the same time they clap their hands. It is a vigorous dance.

The Lahadi and Ghooghati dances

Lahadi is a popular dance of hill communities which is performed by women. In this, women form two teams which stand face to face. The singing is begun by women of the first team and the second team retreats as the singers bend at the waist, clap and move forward. This is then repeated by the other team and the first team retreats to its original position. This lasts for a long time. This dance form employs no musical instruments and the dancers clap their hands.

In the Ghooghati dance the dancer stands in a line and the one behind puts his hand on the shoulders of the one in front of him. The first two or three dancers sing the song and the rest repeat the lines. This dance places a lot of importance on physical movement. As they sing the dancers move backwards and forward and bend sideways. This presents very interesting Choreographic composition.

The Dand Ras and Dangi Dances

The Dangi dances is a dance form of the Chamba area. It is performed at festivals, weddings and during Jatara by the Gaddi women, in lines and semi circular patterns. This is accompanied by the singing of the love ballads of Sunni and Bhukhu. The dancers join hands and move away by turns in this graceful dance.

The Danda Ras is danced to the best of complex rhythms like Dhamal and Lahauli on drums. The Lahauli beat goes slowly and in this the Gaddi dancers lower and raise their legs slowly as they dance in a circle uttering sounds like Jey Jey and Shee Shee. They wear their tradition costume of Chola-Dora and tight fitting Churidar pyjamas.