Author Topic: Folk Songs & Dance Of Uttarakhand - उत्तराखण्ड के लोक नृत्य एवं लोक गीत  (Read 53235 times)

एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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Jagars - Folk Dances of Kumaon and Garhwal
Jaggar falls in the category of ghost and spiritual worship, in the form of a folk song or at times combined with dances. Sometimes, Jaggar may also be in the form of Puja folk songs and are sung in .honour of the various gods and goddesses.

There are more than 50 ballads on indigenous spirits, gods and goddesses, fairies and ghosts, the most famous Ganganath, Gorilla, and Bholanath. The chief priest, Gantava, fixes the time on whicl1 a jagar is to be formed. Around the burning fire, in a circle, are members of the village or family-suddently, like a magician the Das, or singer, slowly, and with measured drum beats, starts to invoke the spirit. Coupled with his singing, punctuated by the exotic drum-beats, and the shrill sound of the thali', the crescendo, builds up and drives the listeners into a trance. In a fit of ectasy they leap, shout, tremble and j'ump, sometimes tearing off their clothes. As they move around the fire, the Das starts to address them by the name of the spirit or spirits involved and asks the spirits, the questions that are sought by some families and the remedies. Usually the spirit demands a sacrifice of a goat or a bird. The spirit is sent back to its Himalayan abode and the spell breaks-the dance and the ceremony is over. While in a state of trance the dancers lick red-hot pokers, or shove their hands into the blazing fire without being harmed.

The instruments used are a big Drum (Dhol), a smaller Drum (Damua), Hurka and Thall

एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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Bajuband - Folk Songs of Garhwal

This is a folk song of love and sacrifice between the shepherds. It is a love dialogue between the man and woman or between a boy and girl which is sung in the form of a folk

एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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Bajuband - Folk Songs of Garhwal

This is a folk song of love and sacrifice between the shepherds. It is a love dialogue between the man and woman or between a boy and girl which is sung in the form of a folk song

एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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 Chhura - Folk Songs of Garhwal

'Chhura' folk songs are sung among shepherds in the form of advice given by the old to youngsters, having learnt it out of their experience, particularly in grazing sheep and goats
 

एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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Ramola - Folk Dances of Kumaon

One day Sidha played his flute, while resting under a tree of rhododendron; fascinated by his music the dancing fairies from Indira's court descended on earth and carried away his soul to Heaven. Meanwhile his wife, Brinjamati, sister of Krishna, had a premonition in her dream, and aroused, she went in search of her husband. Her worst doubts became reality, when she found her husband dead. In her agony she went to her brother in Dwarka, Krishna, who already knew what had happened, promised to help her.

Krishna went to the banks of the Mansarovar and played his flute like he had never played before, putting in his playing his entire heart and soul. The enchanted fairies forgot to keep an eye on their clothes. Seizing his chance, Krishna whisked them all away and climbed atop the tallest tree on the shore. He kept on playing. The fairies entreated him to give back their clothes, but Krishna, in all his willy wisdom, refused till they promised to free Sidha and give him back, alive to his wife. The fairies got their clothes and Krishna's sister, her husband.

The coming of Spring is a matter of joy to everyone, in Kumaon it is announced by. bards who, roaming from place to place, sing of its charms on a sarangi or dholak : "Oh my bee, oh my beloved, Spring has surreptitiously crept in. Quickly take to the valley of flowers where we will play 'Phag together."

Divergent currents from Tibet, Nepal and the Indo-Gangetic plains has given a unique flavour to Kumaoni music, oscillating between extreme simplcity to complex, high sophistication found in the ballads, ceremonial Brahmin-songs and the professional bards. The whole foundation of folk music in Kumaon rests on the ballads which are sung in fields, during the cultivation time, to the beat of a small drum, the 'hurka' - tlleseare the heroic ballads - the romantic ballads are sung anywhere, especially at night. The Malushahi describes the trails of a young Katyuri prince, Malushahi who is in love with a girl from the borders of Tibet-Rajula. The heroine flees to her beloved but is waylaid by an old Chieftain who presses his suit in most ardent terms. Refusing to see the light, he talks of his health, vigour and prowess. Failing all this he tries to impress her with intricate steps hoping he will win her by his skill as a dancer. The girl escapes as he is busy negotiating a difficult dancing feat.

At the Holi festival, forgetting their worries, the people join in festivity lasting more than a month and hundreds of songs of classical, semi classical, and folk variety are sung by both men and women to the accompaniment of the Harmonium, Tabla, Dholak and Manzira (cymbals).

एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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Chhapeli - Folk Dances of Kumaon

All over the world, in societies sophisticated or primitive, courtship dance portray in miniature, the customs of the people and country; it is not necessary that the couples participating in it be actual lovers though the initial cause was the pairing of, to increase the tribe. Danced by one couple or many, the female holds a mirror in her left hand and a coloured handkerchief in the other. The male has slung on his left shoulder a Hudukka, and playing on it, provides the rhythmic pattern for the drum. The mirror, the most interesting part, symbolises something vague or mysterious. The most popular form of singing and dancing, the Chhapeli, vying with each other in winning listeners to the group.

The tune is gay, bright and brisk, accompanying instruments are the Hurka, Manzira and Flute. The dance, a duet depicts the joys of love, beauty and romance. The woman partner (sometimes performed by a young boy), with a winsome smile on her face and graceful use of her waist, dances to the lines of the song, mostly in praise of her beauty and charm, sometimes mocking gently, her ways of making love. The song consists of solo chores and is sung by the Hurka players and their associates standing in a semi-circle behind the dancers

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Chancheri - Folk Dances of Kumaon

Chancheri dance form resembles with Jhora. A collective dance of Kumaon, danced by men and women, it is danced in a semi-circle to a slow tempo, but follows the conventional group dance by joy unconfined. The Chancheri is most popular in the Danpur Patti of Bageshwar District, lying north near the Pindari Glacier.

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Choliya Dance - Folk Dances of Kumaon

Dating back to over a thousand years, the Chholiya Dance has its origins in the warring Khasiya Kingdom of Khasdesh, when marriages were performed at the point of the swords. They were united by the Chand kings who arrived' on the scene in the 10th century. In Nepal, the word Khasa is still asynonym for Kashatrya, and in Khasdesh, too, they took on the customs of the Rajputs, who were themselves honorary Kashatryas.

Keeping the old tradition alive, the Rajputs dance this at their weddings as a part of the marriage procession itself, led by the male dancers who go on dancing till they reach the bride's house. Performed by the Rajputs with sword and shield in pairs, the drummers are usually Harijans called Dholies, while the Turi and Ransing are played by Bairagis, Jogis or Gosains. The Turi and Ransing are typical Kumaon instruments. Perfectly synchronized, and marked with jumps and turns of the body, the dancers show several sword-fighting feats. Attired in the material costumes of ancient warriors, the flashing swords and shields, along with the war-like music, huge red flag with various animal symbols stuck on it conveys fear, joy, awe and wonder, through eyes, eyebrows and shoulders, creating at the same time, the impression of group advancing for an attack.

The costumes consist of a Churidar Pyjama, one long Chola, one cross belt, one belt round the waist, pattis on the legs and a turban. With' Chandan, or Sandalwood paste, and red vermillion they decorate their face, while on the ears are ear-rings, a bronze shield and real sword complete the ensemble. Specially trained, though dancing is not their profession, these Rajput dancers come from the Champawat and Almora. The full team consists of 22 person, eight of which are dancers, and 14 musicians. Cultivators all, they assemble when invited

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Thali, Jadda and Jhainta - Folk Dances of Kumaon

While the Thali is a graceful dance of the women, the Jadda and Jhainta are dances in which men and women whirl together with gay abandon. The whole region a kaleidoscope of folk dancing. the Kumaonis, with their powers of endurance, can go on dancing even after a hard day work. A very part of their life, dance and music surge upto fulfil their emotional and social needs, dancing keeping them ever fresh and alive. The Kumaonis prove the old adage. "The tribe which dances does not die."

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KNOW ABOUT MOHAN UPRETI - A

MOHAN UPRETI — The Man and His Art: Diwan Singh Bajeli; Pub.by National School of Drama, Bhahawalpur House, Bhagwandas Road, New Delhi-110001. Rs. 300.

It was the decade before Independence — the most poignant years in recent Indian history. While the majority of the freedom fighters threw themselves behind Gandhiji and his peaceful resistance, there was a minor group of radicals that saw Subhash Chandra Bose as its messiah and there was a third group that subscribed wholeheartedly to the Communist doctrine — Mohan Upreti belonged to this Marxist group. Upreti's birthplace (1928), Almora, Uttarakhand, had a very rich folk tradition that was relatively untouched by centuries of British rule, because the colonialists did not attempt to develop this hilly terrain as they did Shimla and Nainital. The place considered itself blessed by the visits of Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore and of course found itself on the Indian cultural map after Uday Shankar started his famous school of dance here in 1937.

At the same time, strangely enough, Almora also attracted trade union leaders, the best known amongst them being professor P.C. Joshi, who went on to become one of the most outstanding leaders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Upreti's mentor.

As part of the great social awakening at the end of the Second World War two major associations came into being — the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) and the Progressive Writer's Forum. Upreti, while a student at the Allahabad University, threw himself behind the theatre movement; he then started his own group, Lok Kalakar Sangh (earlier United Artists). Artistic expression apart, theatre was to serve a purpose.

He believed that culture and art should not be treated as different aspects of society but as the manifestation of man's very struggle to better his conditions. A heightened social consciousness was essential to carry forward the work with the masses.

He identified fully with Paul Robeson, the celebrated all-American black singer-actor who, on visiting the Soviet Union in 1934 made strong Left-wing commitments. During the McCarthy era in 1950 he had to pay for his Left predilection when the U.S. withdrew his passport.

Theatre movement


Despite all his trailblazing efforts to showcase and popularise the Kumaoni folk tradition, especially his music compositions for theatre productions, Upreti had to suffer the consequences of his Communist leanings during the Chinese aggression in 1960. Upreti, the darling of theatregoers, was suddenly seen as a Chinese sympathiser and taken into custody. While languishing behind bars for 10 months, Upreti became involved in a jail production along with some of his earlier comrades.

After the ceasefire Upreti was let out of the prison, but he was not allowed to enter Almora. He slowly began to pick up his threads in Delhi with the support of patrons like Sumitra Charatram.

Pioneer folk artist


He formed the Parvatiya Kala Kendra and composed enduring music for stage performances like Mudra Rakhshas, Alibaba and Uttar Ramcharit. His legendary folk song, `Bedu Pako Bara Masa' was publicly performed first in the presence of visiting dignitaries, Khrushchev and Bulganin. In fact Nehru was so moved by the performance that he dubbed Upreti the `Bedu Pako boy'. In 1955 thanks to comrade Joshi, the song became a rage in the Soviet Union and the East European countries (perhaps next only to Raj Kapoor's Awaara!) Musical theatre came to be associated with Mohan Upreti and he continued to provide unforgettable music till he breathed his last in 1997.

Diwan Singh Bajeli, theatre critic and artist, described in the foreword as a "hill man", has made a sincere attempt to paint a portrait of a revolutionary artist, a product of his times and the vicissitudes he faced. Only half of the book deals with the biography. The rest, apart from notes, are a compilation of Upreti's own writings, appraisals of his work and some of his verses in original Devanagiri.

However, the book leaves an aftertaste — as something hastily put together (where was the hurry?) the language, the editing, the proofing — should all have passed through professional hands — surely the National School of Drama owed that much to a pioneer?


 

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