Chauu to Choliya, a Look at Some of Unexplored Dance Forms of India
India has a diverse culture which is famous and unique in the world. Indian classical and folk dances are quite popular, but many other dances still remained unexplored. Let’s go through some of the lesser-known yet amazing dance forms and explore the rich culture of the country:
1. Chauu: It is a tribal martial arts dance form, which is mostly performed in Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The mythological dance form is inspired from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The word ‘chauu’ is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit word ‘chaaya’ which means shadow. This regional dance has three forms that are distinguished in accordance with the use of the masks. It is usually performed in open spaces.
2. Kalbelia: The dance form is closely knitted with Kalbelia people of Rajasthan. This tribal people catch snakes and trade its venom for a living. So, they used dance movement and costumed associated with the serpents. It is usually performed by the women of the tribe and it has been recognised by UNESCO.
3. Sambalpuri: It is a folk dance of Odisha which is performed with grace and elegant movements. The male dancers paint themselves in the form of a tiger, while the women wear Alta (dye) on their feet. The dance form is a combination of several other folk dances including Dalkhai, Karma, Humo, Bauli and Kosabadi.
4. Choliya: Choliya is a martial art dance performed on a marriage procession by the Kumauni people of Uttarakhand. But, it is now performed only on cultural festivals. The dance is believed to shower auspicious blessings to a wedding that cast away all the evil spirit.
5. Rouf: Rouf is a folk dance that originated from Jammu and Kashmir. The moves of the dance are slow and graceful in nature. The dancers form two rows facing each other and moves in the tune of the poetic song called Chakri. It is performed on special occasions like marriage and Eid.