Folk Dance forms of India

The Bihu is the most widespread folk dance of Assam and is enjoyed by all, young and old, rich and poor. The dance is part of the Bihu festival, that comes in mid-April, when harvesting is done, and continues for about a month. The participants are young men and girls, who gather in the open, in daytime. They dance together, but there is no mixing of the sexes. The dance is supported by drums and pipes. In between, the performers sometimes sing, usually of love. The most common formation is the circle or parallel rows. The Bihu demonstrates, through song and dance, the soul of the Assamese at its richest.

The sense of fun and frolic of the Nagas is seen in many of their dances. The Zemis, Zeliangs and other tribes of Assam have a series of dances. Harvesting season is naturally the time for celebrations. All the Naga tribes have their particular harvest dances. The characteristic feature of all Naga dancing is the use of the human figure in an erect posture with many movements of the legs and comparatively little use of the torso, and the shoulders. Khamba Lim is performed by two groups of men and women who stand in two rows. A similar dance is known as the Akhu.

The native tribals of of Dadra & Nagar Haveli have their own traditions and dances. On moonlit nights, melodious Tarpa dancers tap their feet and encircle the Tarpakar to dance past midnight. Mask dancers or Bhavada folk dance is colourful.

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