Bihar Dance

Bihar dance comprises of various dances of folk and rural origin. Dance forms a very important aspect of life in Bihar. They are not treated as mere modes of entertainment but is intrinsically linked to the various significant activities of their lives.

All the dances of Bihar are linked to some ritual or another. Bihar dance also includes a rich tradition of the practice and performance of classical dances. The Rajgir dance festival attests to the wide popularity that classical dances enjoy in Bihar.

The dances of north and south Bihar are distinct in their etymology and nature. Bihar dance forms are typically connected to some social, occupational or family occasion. Jat-Jatin is the most popular folk dance of Bihar. Kajari and Jhumeri are celebrations of certain seasons of the year, while Sohar - Khilouna celebrates the birth. Dance in Bihar also forms an integral part of the various phases of the farming season.

The harvest dances are particularly spectacular. Men and women usually perform separately in most of Bihar's dances. Saturi dance of Mithila is the only dance where they participate together. The kathaks or traveling story tellers sometime employs dance as a part of their narration. Natua dance is a very popular folk dance from Bihar.

South Bihar has a wide tribal population. It is in these parts that indigenous forms of Bihar dance have their origins. Dances feature very prominently in the various festivals and celebrations of the tribal people like the Maghi parva and the Karma festival. Chhau and jhumur are two such dance forms prevalent among the tribal populace of south Bihar.

Dance forms in Bihar

Jatra dance in Bihar is one of the major dance forms of the substantial tribal population of the state. Like most dances, Bihar's Jatra dance is a stylized representation of a fundamental aspect of life, which is war and battle. Jatras are particularly popular among the Oraons. The dances are reminiscent of the ancient ways of livelihood, when the struggle for survival formed an integral part of human life and sustenance of one's occupational facility. It is also a stylized and aesthetic release of the inherent violence of the human self, just as the karma and the jadur releases the passionate aspects of the consciousness.

Karma of Bihar is a most important folk dance among the tribal populace of Bihar. Bihar's karma dance is associated with the karma tree representing fertility and plenty and continues on for three days beginning on the eleventh day of 'Bhadra'. Karma dances are performed by almost all tribal communities. The Mundas, the Gonds, the Santhals and the Oraons, all perform karma dances. They can sometimes be arranged out of season to celebrate some significant occasion of the village, although that is quite rare.

Natua of Bihar is a dance form extremely popular among the various tribal groups of South Bihar. These dances are intrinsically connected to the ritualistic celebrations of tribal lives. There are two dominant forms of Bihar's Natua dance. They are, in either form, performed predominantly by men. One form is primarily tribal and is held in the form of a carnival in village fairs, involving great risks and excitement. The second is a more quiet form and deals with the love of Radha and Krishna.

Jadur of Bihar is a folk dance particularly popular among the tribal people of South Bihar called the Oraons. The dance is a part of the celebrations of the Sarhul festival. Bihar's Jadur forms an integral part of Bihar's folk tradition. Celebrating the celestial union of the mother earth with the sun god, the dance represents vitality, fertility and plenty. The tribal dances are largely stylized representations of fundamental life-forces. The tropes of union and resultant fertility are recurrent themes within the tribal dances.

Last Updated on 14 june 2013



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