The Dance Culture of North East India

Seven Sisters is a land of undulating hills and plains with a luxuriant green cover and a wide variety of rare and exotic flora and fauna. Each of this state is more beautiful than the other, each with its own culture and beliefs, each having its own charm. Because of the inaccessibility of the region from the rest of the world, it has been lucky enough to maintain most of its natural diversity and has been untouched from the modernization. The dance forms are incredible and as vibrant as the people of northeastern states of India, actually, dance is an important aspect in the lives of people living in this part of the country and hence many age-old dance forms are still practiced and kept alive.

Mask Dance (Meghalaya)

It is part of religious and cultural traditions. The main purpose of this dance is to propitiate the deity, kill the evil king and protect the people from the wrath of natural calamities, diseases, and epidemics and ensure health, happiness, and prosperity for the people of the area.

Pung Cholom (Manipur)

It’s the love of Manipuri Sankirtana music and Classical dance. In this style, the dancers play the pung (a form of hand beat drum) while they dance and they need to be graceful and acrobatic at the same time. They use these acrobatic efforts without breaking the rhythm or flow of music.

Basanta Ras Leela (Manipur)

It’s a team performance, with its own unique costumes, aesthetics, conventions, and repertoire. The Manipuri dance drama is, for the most part, marked by a performance that is graceful, fluid, sinuous with greater emphasis on hand and upper body gestures. In this dance, Rasa Leela is depicted within the Manipuri classical way. The dance is performed holding dandi (sticks) and is often accompanied by folk songs and devotional music. The women characters are dressed like a Manipuri bride, in Potloi costumes, of which the most notable is the Kumil. A Kumil is an elaborately decorated barrel-shaped long skirt stiffened at the bottom and close to the top.

Satriya Nritya (Assam)

Sattriya Nritya is a major Indian classical dance. It is dance-drama performance art with origins in the Krishna-centered Vaishnavism monasteries of Assam.

Naga Dance (Nagaland)

Naga folk songs are both romantic and historical, with songs narrating entire stories of famous ancestors and incidents. This dance is martial and athletic in style.

Bamboo Dance (Mizoram)

Consisting of four people holding two crossed pairs of bamboo staves, it is one of the most famous dances in Mizoram, and a center of attraction during festive occasions.

Bihu (Assam)

Given that the festival of Bihu is celebrated across the globe in cities like London, New York by Assamese societies, it is well known by people of mainland India as well. Generally, Bihu is celebrated three times a year and during this time men and women together perform a dance by showing off various postures like squats, twirls, movements of hips, arms as well as wrists. That can take a lot of practice for you to come up with such fine moves. In this dance form, the females wear a Mekhala Chador and the male dancers wear a Dhoti Gamocha.

Hojagiri Dance (Tripura)

This is basically a folk dance of the Reang community in the state. The Hojagiri dance is a ceremony to satisfy the goddess Lakshmi in order to have a good harvest. The unique thing about this dance is that only the lower portion of the body moves to the rhythm of the music. The major highlight of this dance is the super cool acrobatic things like a bottle with a lighted lamp on top or balancing an earthen pitcher.

Khushi Anand

Hello! Great to meet you! I’m Khushi Anand, a university student who’s always looking out for new places to explore and stories to tell. With my colorful creativity, I want to take you guys on the adventure of a lifetime. www.khushianand.com

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