“Dance is an integral part of all festivities of the Santal community”: Celebrating the legacy of Rabindranath Tagore – West Bengal

Village mural in West Bengal depicting Santal customs – click on the image for more information

Dance is an integral part of all festivities of the Santhal community. It is not only a performing art, but a way of life for them. To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Sangeet Natak Akademi organized Enek Sereng Parab, a three-day festival of Santhali dance and music at Daronda village, Birbhum, between January 4-6. […] Thirty-one troupes from Birbhum, Bankura, North Bengal, South Dinajpur and Purulia participated in this unique festival with great enthusiasm.

Each dance form, with its distinctive rhythm and style, was primarily performed in groups, accompanied by traditional songs. The open-air performance began with Dasai dance by Binod Tudu and his group from Ramnagar. Usually, women take part in Santhal dance and men provide the musical accompaniment. But Dasai is essentially a male dance item, performed just before the Durga Puja, when Santhali men go out to the neighbouring villages to sing and dance and collect donations of rice and alms. Dressed in white dhotis and colourful turbans, the well-built dancers showcased the strength of unity. With peacock feathers and instruments like madol, flute, dhamsa, jhanj and kartal, this turned out to be an elaborate and excellent performance.

It was followed by Baha dance, presented by Karan Tudu and his group from Lakhipur. Six male dancers with instruments, along with 12 female dancers, painted a vibrant palate with this holi song. Adorned with flowers and leaves, Santhal women entered the stage in a line, holding one another’s hands, and danced with clapping and swinging movements to express the joy and ecstacy of marriage ceremony in Dong dance. Lagre, Sohorai and Pata were other dance styles that deserve mention. […]

Source: The Telegraph – Calcutta (Kolkata) | Opinion | A different celebration
Address : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110108/jsp/opinion/story_13405038.jsp
Date Visited: Tue Jul 19 2011 20:33:21 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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