Tribal Dance In Bihar
Swaying To The Tunes
Bihar has always been known for its unique and exquisite culture. And music and dance play a big role in ornamenting it. Though there are no famous classical dances in Bihar, but the number of renowned folk dances and music culture is more than enough to compensate for the loss. The folk dances are mainly seen in three different sections by the experts. One which is mainly based on the songs of poets, second which belongs to adivasis (tribals) and is close to nature, society, and rituals. The last section includes the religious dances that are performed as a devotion to gods and goddesses. The simple people of Bihar use these dances to show their joy or unhappiness. And like everywhere else, there are dances that are performed during many joyous functions and festivals. The history of music in Bihar is adorned with numerous jewels. Bihar has produced musical legends like Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan and dhrupad singers like the Malliks and the Mishras.
One can see the performances of these dances during the world famous Rajgir Dance Festival held every year in Rajgir. It happens in the month of October starting on 1st and continuing till 10th. Not only are folk dances performed here, eminent personalities form the dance field perform various Indian classical dances. It is also an excellent event to witness the magic of Indian classical music and instrumental music.
Bidesia Dance deals with the many social problems prevailing in the society. It is believed that the creator of the dance Bhikari Thakur, who was a barber by profession, used funny and sarcastic comments to bring forth the serious issue and still not hurt the feelings of the people. The stories portrayed are so touching and realistic that they bring back the memories of yesteryears when men were taken away as slaves in distant lands and when used to feel in the pain of separation. They are also used to spread awareness among the masses about poverty, poor status of women in the society. Bidesia is performed in theater style with rhythmic language, soothing songs, and attractive music that makes it the most famous dance of Bihar.
Jhijhian dance is a ritualistic dance that is performed during times when there is absolutely no rain and the land is sun parched. The motive of the dance is to lenify the God of rain, Lord Indra and ask for his favor in the form of rains. The dance is accompanied by a song which is full of prayers to Lord Indra. The participants of the dance include a lead singer, harmonium player, a bansuri player and a dholak player. The dance is only performed by women.
After the time of Jhijhian dance is over and its motive is successful, it is time for Kajari Dance. The dance is performed along with Kajari song which is a monsoon song . Starting in the Indian month of 'Shravan' which is the start of monsoon season, the dance is performed till the time rainy season persists. The songs describe the sudden and pleasant change in the nature that has happened and also account the refreshing and relaxing feeling that people of the village feel.
Paika dance is a form of martial arts dance that is performed in in the tribal area of Mayurbhanj. The dance is performed with shields and swords that with dancers displaying their ability to control these weapons. Paika name is coined using the Sanskrit word 'Padatika' which means infantry. The dance is performed only during special occasions. For this dance, the grounds are prepared with soft earth pattered with oil and water. Men, wearing colorful turbans and tight dhotis come to the grounds to perform as warriors. They stand in two rows and enact a scene of fierce combat. Earlier the specially made grounds were called Paika akhadas which were the village gymnasium where people used to come in the evening. Some people still like to call it that.