Himachal :: Himachal Dances
The people of Himachal Pradesh are known for their love of colors and festivities. Forming a part of these festivities are folk dances of the state, with themes revolving around the scenes from the mythological epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. Folklores and chivalry tales of the local heroes and religious deities are some other themes on which the traditional dances of Himachal Pradesh are based. Though there are a number of dance forms popular in the state, but Chham Dance or 'Dance of Devils', performed in Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur, counts amongst the favorites of the tourists.
Chham Dance Himachal
Chham dance is splendid dance performed by the Buddhist monks, known as Lamas, in the courtyard of monasteries during religious and other festivals, as a part of the celebrations. The dance is known for the elaborate mask, headgear and costume of the performers and is very popular in Tibetan settlement areas of Himachal Pradesh, such as Lahaul & Spiti, Ladakh and Kinnaur.
Chhanak Chham Himachal
Lamas of Lahaul-Spiti region perform this devotional dance once in every three years, on the festival known as Chakhar, as a tribute to Lord Buddha. 'Chhanak' is the typical headgear worn by the dancers. The costume is made of golden, black and yellow fabric, adorned with unique traditional motifs done in patchwork. Dancers cover half of their face with black cloth and carry swords or knives in their hands. The movements are slow and circular. The musicians wear traditional dress of the Lamas, with caps decked with yellow feathers, and play long pipes, known as 'Tangchim', and drums, known as 'Ghhan.
Dandras Dance Himachal
Dandras is a traditional dance performed by the men of 'Gaddi' tribe i.e. the nomadic shepherd tribe belonging to the Bharmaur region of the Chamba district. The dance is performed with small sticks and can last for hours at a time.
Kullu Nati Himachal
One of the most famous dances of the Kullu Valley, Kullu Nati is performed during festivals and fairs, especially Dussehra. Dancers clad in traditional dresses dance along with the procession, on the tunes of musical instruments such as Narsingha, Karnal, Shehnai, Dhol and Nagara. Earlier, Natti was performed for several hours and continued till dancers and orchestra got exhausted. The duration of the dance has been curtailed now.
Lahauli Dance Himachal
Lahauli dance is performed on the tunes of the musical instruments of Ladakh, known as Surna and Damman. The steps are simple but graceful. For instance, dancers move in a circular pattern after interlocking their hands. They usually wear long gowns with embroidered borders, matching jackets and ornaments made of beads and stones.
Losar Shona Chuksam Himachal
Losar Shona Chuksam is the folk dance performed in the Kinnaur region, known for its love of music and dance. The dance has been named after the festival 'Losar' or New Year. Dhol, bronze cymbals known as Bugjal, Karnal and Ransingha are the musical instruments on which the dance is based.
Nati Dance Himachal
The popular dance form of Nati is performed on a particular rhythm and beat, which differs from region to region. The popular forms of Nati are Gaddi Nati, Kullu Nati, Kinnauri Nati, Sirmouri Nati and Shimla Nati. All the forms of Nati have unique costumes, ornaments, songs and instrumental music.
Thoda Dance Himachal
In the past, Thoda dance was performed as a ritual before the battle. The performance and the quick movements seem to simulate the incidents seen during a real battle.