Dance in Madhya Pradesh have been a tradition since long time. The major Population that resides in Madhya Pradesh is of tribal people, so most of the dances practiced here are also of tribal nature. You can witness their dances in any of their fairs or festivals. These dances have not been influenced even a bit by outside traditions and have retained their charm and uniqueness for many centuries. Madhya Pradesh is host to the world famous Khajuraho Dance Festival. Masters of different dances like Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathak and many other classical dances perform here with the backdrop of floodlit Khajuraho Temples.
The population of Madhya Pradesh is dominant by the tribals in the region, so it is inevitable that the folk and traditional music and danced will revolve around the beliefs of these tribes. However different forms of music do coexist harmoniously. The music of Madhya Pradesh can be bifurcated in three dominant forms- Tribal, Countryside music and Bhakti Cult. Though tribal music is richest, countryside music is reflected in legendary narratives, work son and occupational songs. Bhakti Clut music comprises Bhajans, lyrics of great poets and devotional songs.
Gaur Maria Dance
Gaur Maria dance of Madhya Pradesh the spectacular dance performance symbolizes the hunting spirit of the tribe, since the word `Gaur` means a ferocious bison. The announcement or invitation for a dance is given by making sound with a bamboo trumpet or a horn. The men folk in the presence of flutes and drums make their entry in the dancing arena, by wearing headdresses that are frilled with stringed `cowries` and plumes of peacock feathers fastened to them.
Generally, women are adorned with brass fillets and bead necklaces over their bodies along with the painted tattoos; join to the dancing place soon. They carry dancing sticks called Tirududi in their right hands and tap them according to the drumbeats. They perform in their own groups by the side of the male members. Sometimes, they also take the liberty to cross and re-cross in between the groups of male dancers and drummers. The jingling anklets of the dancers truly correspond to the songs of their lips as they move further in dancing.
Murias Tribes Drum Dance
Their neighbours, the Murias, are known for their tradition drum dances called Mandri. It is mainly the dance of boys, who play the drum along with dancing. Sometimes girls also join them, though they appear grouped separately.
The dance movements and steps of the boys are often complicated, involving kneeling, jumping, gyrating and the like, but at no time is there a let-up in the playing of the drum.
The Murias are the people who belong to the Muria Tribe and reside in the Northern part of Bastar district. The Murias are trained and taught several community dances in the Ghotul. As per the culture and tradition of this clan, the Murias first worship their drum before performing the dance. They basically dance and sing during some occasion and festivals.
The Muria dance, Madhya Pradesh is a famous folk dance of Madhya Pradesh and is performed near the Ghotul compound. The dance starts with the boys carrying ritualistic offerings along with the bridegroom to the ceremonial place. The Muria dances are of many types. In this dance, there are a variety of movements. The boys and the girls participate enthusiastically. The dance has a fixed moving pattern with running steps and circles. The performers kneel down, bend and jump as a part of the movement in the Muria Dance, Madhya Pradesh. During the performance of Muria Dance in Madhya Pradesh in India, the drummers also move along with the dancers and keep on manipulating the rhythm.
Matki Dance belongs to the people living in the Malwa Plateau of Madhya Pradesh. This dance is usually performed during weddings.
Matki dance is performed by a woman with a veil over her face and a 'matki' (earthen pot) balanced on her head. This dancer is sometimes joined by other women in the performance. 'Aada' and 'khada nach' are the varieties of this dance.
Grida Dance is performed in the villages of Madhya Pradesh. This dance celebrates the flourishing of the 'rabi' crops (winter crops). It is performed by groups belonging to different villages, who gather together for this occasion.
This dance begins in the morning and continues till evening. There are 3 phases in it. The first phase 'sela' consists of slow and stiff feet movements. During 'selalarki', the second phase, the movements gather pace. On the third phase, called 'selabhadoni', the dance reaches its final point with vigoros movements of the hands and legs.
Phulpati Dance is performed by the unmarried girls of Madhya Pradesh. It is a dance, which celebrates nature. This dance form is performed by the girls belonging to the semi-rural areas.