The cultural diversity in India is highly appreciable. People of different caste, creed, and community have managed to survive in harmony. And this is the land which is full of traditions, art, folk music, and dance. Dance is the most explicit form in which humans have expressed themselves. Over the years of evolution, many dance forms have made it to the surface. They are appreciated not only on a national level but at an international level.
On the other hand, some dance forms may disappear soon. They are at the brink of extension. Here are some vibrant dance forms which may go extinct shortly:
Tamasha– Maharashtra is known for a lot of things- late-night Masti, amazing street food, and lots of places to see. It is a cultural hub that has given rise to amazing talents. Tamasha is a rustic dance form that was born in Maharashtra. Dancing, singing, and vibrant acting make an important part of Tamasha.
Tamasha is traditionally associated with Kolkati and Mahar communities. Theatrical groups perform Tamasha on a big scale. It is composed of male dholak and tabla players. Women perform Lavani on the lovely tabla music.
But with the advent of modern technology like satellite TV and the internet, the art of Tamasha is disappearing rapidly.
Domni– Domni is prominent in the parts of Maldah, West Bengal. The best thing about Domni is that it is inspired by mundane events. But the portrayal is breathtaking. Domni is more of a play than a dance where everyday events come to life. There is a comic touch given to all acts. In addition to that, subtle lessons are also a part of this incredible dance form. Harmonium, dholak, and flute are the most common instruments involved in the execution of Domni.
Morris Dance– Morris dance has been in India for decades. It was introduced here by early British invaders, who brought a bit of their culture with them. Morris dance often performed by a team of young men. They are dressed sharp- with hats and bells. Advanced performances involve handkerchiefs, sticks, and swords.
It is more common in countries like the USA, Australia, and Canada, but its significance is India is rapidly declining. Morris dance was a means to have fun and excite youth to join in. But over the years, younger generations are taking less and less interest in Morris dance. People are embarrassed to join in which has resulted in decreased popularity of Morris dance form. Soon it shall be eliminated from India.
Ojha– This dance form is native to Assam and is almost considered holy. It is performed by a male artist dressed in a long skirt and a kurta.
Traditionally it is performed in the month of Shravan ad an ode to goddess Bishari. Chamar or broom plays a major role in the act. During the performance, stories related to mythological beings are narrated. Behula, Lakhindar, and Chand Saudagar are often mentioned in the recital.
This dance form is difficult to execute, which is why only a few dancers opt for this. In addition to this, the lack of audience response has discouraged artists from giving up this dance form.
Cham– Cham originated in Tibet and has made its way into India. It is a dance form that is often performed by Buddhist monks. Their colourful, coordinated, and mesmerizing performance takes days to prepare. It is customary for monks to meditate for long hours before the performance.
Cham is believed to be a way of warding off evil. During the performance, the brightly dressed monks collect evil from the audience. It is an elaborate process and beautifully crafted into a story. In the end, the head of the dance group gathers all the evil and finally releases it. Most people see Cham for this purpose only.
Earlier Cham was extremely popular, but now only a few Himalayan tribes perform Cham. With the declining population in that area, Cham might be lost in time.
These were some of the most energetic and colourful dance forms which are on the verge of extension. And we have the internet to blame for this. The communities which are involved in these dances not only perform, but they depend on it, financially. With everything being available on the internet, these families don’t have a way to survive. And this may result in the extinction of these amazing dance form.
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