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Indian folk and tribal dances are passed down from generation to generation. The new generation is constantly improving and adding upon these dances. Indian folk dances are changing bit by bit, making it exciting to see these newly improved dances. Some dances have changed very little and remain traditional, but one thing is the same: they are performed with much gusto and spirit. They express the joy and vitality of the Indian people in a way words cannot fully express.
The Gotipua Dance is a dance that comes from the region of Orissa. It is a dance performed by young boys dressed as girls. Young boys will start training at a young age, and when they become teenagers they start training other young boys to the Gotipua Dance. The reason why dancers are taught when very young is because this dance requires a certain flexibility and agility that is thought to be easily obtainable in one’s youth.
The Cheraw Dance is a dance from Mizoram. The Cheraw Dance is a bamboo stick dance that involves many people. There are four people to hold and move the bamboo sticks, while the main dancers hop and maneuver their way around the bamboo sticks. The Cheraw Dance requires a high level of coordination between the main dancers and the stick holders. A sense of rhythm is also required, as well as good reflexes.
The Charkula Dance is a dance performed in Uttar Pradesh. This is a dance where women place a large pyramid of oil lamps on their head. This dance honors the birth of Radha, who was Krishna’s beloved. The local legend says that when Radha was born, her grandmother placed a lamp atop her head to announce the birth. It’s really quite amazing when you see the women twirl and move about without a hint of hestitation.
The Tippani Dance comes from the Gujarat region. This is a dance where a group of women beat sticks into the ground in a choreographed dance. The sticks are struck in conjunction with the beat of the music, so timing is very important in this dance. This dance originated from women fieldworkers who would beat their plows to the ground in a rhythmic manner. Originally this was done to make the plowing bearable, but now it’s an actual dance.