Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Posted by Ratan Grewal On 09:27

BHANGRA:

Bhangra is one of most popular dances of India performed during Baisakhi only by the men in Punjab. Among the most virile, vigorous and captivating dances of India, Bhangra includes tricks and acrobatic feats in its performance. The songs include recitation of meaningless `bolis`, words such as hoay, hoay. Or Balle, Balle... 

The Bhangra is perhaps the most virile form of Indian Folk Dances. It strongly reflects the vigor, the vitality, the leaven of exuberance, and the hilarity permeated among the rural folk due to the promise of a coming bumper crop. The drummer usually is standing in the center of the circle & is surrounded by dancers. 

When the wheat crop is ready for ripening, the breeze flows softly & touches the surface of the golden crop creating a ripple and reckoning the sickle, it is a time of celebration. It is absolutely a time, when the hard labor of the farmer is about to bear fruit, it is a time of rejoicing and merry making and through Bhangra their emotions find a perfect outlet for spontaneous expression of genuine happiness. The Bhangra season concludes with the fair of Baisakhi when the wheat crop is harvested. 

Bhangra is considered the king of folk dances in Punjab. There are several styles of performing Bhangra like Sialkoti, Sheikhupuri, Tribal, Malwa, Majha etc. One of the step or move of Bhangra is also similar to the moves of Shiv-Tandav dance, which is danced on one leg by Shiva. Damru i.e. hand-drum is also used in Bhangra. 

The season in which Bhangra is performed begins with the sowing of wheat and then every full moon attracts teams of young men in every village who dance with enthusiasm for hours. The dancers gather in an open space & form a circle around the drummer. Drummer holds two sticks with the help of which he beats the drum, to beckon the dancers to a higher tempo of movement. At the initial stage dance starts with a slow movement of their feet. But as the tempo increases, the hands, the feet and in fact the whole body comes into action. The dancers whirl round and round bending and straightening their bodies, jumping on one leg, raising their hands, clapping with their handkerchiefs and exclaiming the words "Bale Bale, Oh Bale Bale…" which not only inspire themselves but also others for the dance. 

The drummer is usually standing at the center of the circle during the time of performance. At intervals the tempo of the dance becomes slow, dancers stop moving, but continue to beat the rhythm with their feet. One of the dancers from the group come forward near the drummer and covering his left ear with his palm sings a boali or dholla, derived from the traditional folk songs of Punjab. Picking up the last lines of boali, the dancers again start dancing with greater vigor as before. 

For powerful music set up, in addition to a drum, chimta-musical tongs and burchu and sound of the beats from earthen vessels are used. The costumes of a Bhangra dancer are unique, which suits the vigor of dance. They are consists of a bright, colored Patka on the head, a lacha or lungi of the same color, a long tunic and a black or blue waistcoat and ghunghroos on the ankles. Some dancers also wear small rings (nuntian) in their ears as an ornament. 


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