The folk and traditional dances of Madhya Pradesh, in central India, are an important aspect of their culture. This state is mostly populated by indigenous peoples, sometimes known as ‘Adivasis’. Maanch, Gaur Maria Dance, Badhai, Rai, Saira, Sher, Akhara, Shaitan, Baredi, Karma, Kathi, Sua, Saila, Mauni, Dhimrai, Kanara, Bhagoria, Dashera, Dadariya, Duldul Ghodi, Lehgi Ghodi, Mandlya, Danda, Dadel, Birha, Ahirai, Pard The following are some of the state’s most popular folk dance forms:
The Tertali Dance is a specialty of the Kamar Tribe. It comprises a lengthy religious rite that is accompanied by music and dance. The dance begins with a group of two to three ladies squatting on the ground. The ‘Manjira,’ an Indian musical instrument, is attached to their legs and held in their hands, and they sing and dance while playing it. The ladies always wear a veil to conceal their heads and faces in any MP dancing style. Women doing the Tertali dance may balance a clay pot on their heads while holding miniature swords between their teeth!
The Charkula dance form comes from the country of Lord Krishna, Uttar Pradesh’s ‘Braj’ area. The women who execute this art form support a multi-tiered wooden pyramid on their heads with 108 bulbs illuminated within. They dance to Krishna’s melodies, known as ‘Rasiya’ in the area. This dance is performed after the Holi celebration for three days, commemorating the birth of Krishna’s consort Radha. Radha’s mother is said to have run out of the home wearing a Charkula to proclaim the birth of her daughter!
Jawara is predominantly a peasant dance. This art form is performed by villagers in the Bundelkhand area of MP. It’s a dance that’s done when a successful crop is harvested, and it’s a real show of wealth in the hamlet. This dance is performed by both men and women. For the performance, they are dressed in bright colours and wearing jewellery. While doing fast dancing motions, the women balance a basket full of Jowar crop on their heads. It’s a fast-paced and energising dancing form. String, wind, percussion, and auto phonic instruments were employed as accompaniments throughout this art show.
The PhulPati Dance performance is only open to MP’s unmarried females. On the occasion of the Holi celebration, this dance is performed. The females generally come from a semi-rural rather than a completely rural background.
Women from the Malwa area of the state perform the Matki Dance. It’s a solo dance done by a woman with her face hidden under her veil. While dancing, she balances a decorative pot on her head. Later in the dance, several of the other women join in the chorus to complete the show. Aada and Khada are two further versions of the Matki dance genre.
When the Rabi crop is ready for harvest in MP, the Grida dance is done by the villagers. The participants come from a variety of villages around the state. The festival is hosted by one town, and each community takes turns hosting the event each year. The festivities begin at daybreak and go till late at night. The dance starts with Sela, then Selalarki, and finishes with Selabhadoni, depending on the velocity of the Grida dancers’ foot motions.