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Classic Dances of India

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Folk Dances of Uttranchal

The folk-lore of Uttaranchal, indeed the lives of the people are filled with dancing-it is as important for them as wearing clothes, a must for life. For them the Gods can be influenced by dances not to fail man. The art of dancing also owes its inspiration to the fascinating mythical dancing damsels who dwell on snow-clad peaks and are variously described as Ancheris, Kecharis or Paries.

"They are fairies or women who move in the firmament, young women of surpassing beauty, sumptuously clothed and supposed to belong to the court of Indira. His dancing girls, they are said to fly or float along the sky without any visible wings".

Some believe they are the souls of spirits of young unmarried girls who died with no funeral rites; they are the daughters of Ravana who offered them to Lord Shiva as his hand-maidens. The most popular version makes them part of the Krishna legend and lore, making them into the Gopis who dance the 'Dance Celestial' with their Lord.

Langvir Nritya - Folk Lore of Garhwal
Langvir Nritya is an acrobatic dance and is performed by the men folk only. In this dance, a long bamboo pole is fixed at a place. The dancer acrobat climbs to the top of this pole and then balances himself on his stomach on the top. Under the pole, a band of musicians play 'Dhol' and 'Damana' while the dancer acrobat rotates on the top of the pole doing other feats with the help of his hands and feet. This dance is popular in Tehri Garhwal region.

Barada Nati - Folk Lore of Garhwal
Barada Nati folk dance is a popular dance of Jaunsar Bhawar area of Chakrata Tehsil in Dehradun district. The folk dance is performed on the eve of some religious festivals or on the occasion of some social functions. Both boys and girls take part in the dance dressed with colourful traditional costumes.

Pandav Nritya - Folk Lore of Garhwal
Pandva Nritya which is related to the story of Mahabharata has been very popular particularly in the Garhwal region. Pandva Nritya is nothing but a simple narration of the story of Mahabharata in the form of dance and music. The narration is mostly enacted on the occasion of 'Dussehra' and Diwali. Pandav Nritya is popular in Chamoli district and Pauri Garhwal.

Shotiya Tribal Folk Dances- Folk Lore of Garhwal
Bhotiya tribals have their typical dances like 'Dhurang, and Dhuring' which are connected with death ceremonies. The aim at liberating the soul of the dead person which they believed to have been living in the body of either a goat or another animal. The dance is similar to the pastorals of Himachal Pradesh or the hunting dance of Nagaland.
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