West Bengal, an incredible land of India, is famous for its culture, art, music, and delicious food. Bengal is so rich in culture, and it is so diverse. West Bengal is home to various ancient folk dances and music. The dances and songs depict the Bengali culture, traditions, and heritage. If you are passionate about art and music, then West Bengal is like heaven to you. There are many dance forms in West Bengal like Brita, Gambhira, Chhau, etc.
Here is a list of 5 most famous dance forms of West Bengal. Your cultural tour to West Bengal is incomplete without experiencing these famous dance forms.
Brita dance is one of the well-known traditional folk dances of West Bengal. The rural Bengal follows this dance. People also know this dance as Vrita Dance. This dance is mainly performed by those women of Bengal, who are unable to give birth to children. After the fulfillment of their wishes, women again dance in the temple premises to thank the deities. People also perform this dance after they get recover from a contagious disease like smallpox or chickenpox.
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Another important and popular dance form of West Bengal is the Gambhira dance. It is a famous devotional folk dance, which enhances the rich culture of Bengal. This dance is much popular in North Bengal, especially in the Malda district. Gambhira dance is specially performed during the Chadak festival in the month of March-April. In this solo performing dance, the participant wears a mask while performing. This dance mainly consists of two dancers and a chorus. The two dancers perform the role of nana (maternal grandfather) and nati (grandson), respectively. The theme of the dance is based on the social, political, economic, and moral problems of contemporary society.
Chhau is an ancient Indian dance. It is a semi-classical dance with martial, tribal, and folk traditions. In Sanskrit, Chhau means Chhaya or shadow. The dance form has three subtypes; namely Purulia Chhau from West Bengal, Mayurbanj Chhau from Odisha, and Seraikella Chhau from Jharkhand. Purulia chhau is quite different from other forms of Chhau dances. In this form of Chhau, usually, male dancers perform by wearing a mask. The dance enacts famous mythological stories such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Vira rasa and Rudra rasa are two main rasas that dominate the dance. This dance form of West Bengal is famous all over the world that attracts a lot of tourists.
If you want to experience the traditional Santali dance, then you must relish the Tusu dance. Tusu dance is a popular tribal folk dance of the Birbhum district. This dance is also popular in Purulia and Medinipur. Both males and females perform this dance, usually in the month of Pausa during December and January. This dance is related to the Tusu Parab (Tusu Festival), celebrated on the day of Makar Sankranti. On this day, at the riverside, girls gather to worship the clay and cow-dung idol of Goddess Tusu so for seeking a good groom.
Another famous tribal folk dance of West Bengal is Lathi dance which has a different art of expression. Lathi dance is performed to express different situations like remorse, celebration, anger, pain, or love. This dance is performed during the first ten days of the Muslim festival, Muharram. Mostly the youth perform this dance. It is performed with various sounds. Moreover, Lathi dance is actually a half dance and half a type of play.
Also read:- 27 Most Famous Festivals of Odisha
These are some of the popular dance forms of West Bengal that depict the cultural richness of the state. West Bengal is always famous for its dance and music. Till now the people of Bengal are trying to uplift the culture of this state. Apart from the above list, there are some other dance forms that are performed in West Bengal.
I hope this blog will help you to know about some of the famous and important dance forms of West Bengal. If you find this blog interesting and helpful, then don’t forget to share your experience by commenting below.