Chandigarh, November: Crafts Mela is great opportunity to feel rare performances of dance arts form traditionally as old as 1000 years, spread across North Indian states of the Country. These nine groups are spread over the vast area of the Crafts Mela Village at Kalagram. Clad in colourful traditional attires, these ground dance performers are the cynosure of the crafts meal, attracting youngsters and visitors, thronging Crafts Mela here today. Every visitor stays and gazes at the marvellous dance art forms, which are getting extinct day by day.
500 years old “Nachar” dance from Punjab is a celebratory song and dance in which three or four men dressed as women generally dance to the tunes of dhol, duggi, and tambur. According to Rajinder Singh, the group leader “ Nachar is said to have emerged from the time of the marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati” . Around 12 dancers are singing traditional Lok Geets, or folk songs, sung by the team members.
Hundreds of years old Banchari dance from Haryana is another attraction. The village is echoed with the sound to nagada, jhanj, been instruments. Ten dancers have come from Banchari village to perform this dance. According to group Leader Dharamvir “the dances are raised upto to era of Mahabharat also. The other form of dance from Haryana is Been yogi, tradionally very old , running over hundreds of years, small group.
4000 years old Kachhi gohdi dance from Jaipur is attraction amongst children, admiring the act and dance together of eight performers wearing dhoti, angrakhi. According to Banari lal, “This dance is performed by mens on dummy horses. This form of folk dance is generally performed by the tribes of Rajasthan.
100 years old Khud dance is hilly region dances from Jammu, wherein dancers are exhibiting swaying & sinuous movements. According to the head of the group mr. Khem Raj “Sometimes, this dance continues for the whole night. More than 15 dancers have come from the Jammu region to showcase their beautiful dance form” .
500 years old traditional dance from Rajasthan, Bhopa-bhopi is the age old traditional form of folk songs and dance of Rajasthan. “Bhopa-Bhopi” involves a male artiste called “Bhopa” and another female artiste addressed as “Bhopi”. The two instruments used by the duo are Ravana Hattaa (a stringed instrument) and Dholaki (small drum).
Bahrupiya from Punjab is another attraction, in form of Akbar, policeman etc. All ten days, these artists shall surprise the visitors and children with different characters and looks. According to the artist, “We adopt the persona of a well-known person or character and improvises, using satire and farce extensively, to entertain the visitors in Crafts Mela”.
Visitors enthralled “Bhand Marasi “from Punjab Folk theatre. Children must see the Puppet show by a family running this business from the last 150 years. PM Modi campaign “ Swachh Bharat Abhiyan “ is very much on here with the puppets conveying message to surrounding clean. It is expected that thousand of visitors coming across from various regions will get a rare opportunity of traditional performances at this crafts Mela .
In the evening, there shall be performance by a Rajasthani group. Rajasthan Josh, led and directed by Chugge Khan, is a collective of Manganiyar musicians from Jaisalmer and surrounding villages, formed in 2009, who make music, rhythmic, hypnotic desert sounds, that embraces traditional and contemporary styles and fusions, and is grounded in the traditions of the Manganiyars and Langas: artists and musicians whose ancestors for centuries have traversed Rajasthan performing for the Moghul rulers and Rajput princes as well as at weddings, births and feasts.