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Dance and Music of Assam

Sattriya Dance Assam

Assamese's love for life is vividly reflected in their dance and music. They dance for harvest, they dance for marriage, they dance for religious ceremonies, for dance and music are the indispensable components of their lives and festivities. Assam is a home to several tribes and each tribe has its own dance form. In Assam, this art form is not only meant for entertainment but holds profound religious importance too.

Famous Dance Forms Of Assam:

Bihu Dance:
This folk dance is related to the famous Bihu festival of Assam. It is the most celebrated dance of the state and is also one of the main attractions for the tourists. Both womenfolk and menfolk take part in this cheerful dance. The dance involves a great deal of energy and flexibility as the dance steps are brisk. The performers wear traditional costumes in different colours. The dancers sway their body gracefully on the rhythm of the Bihu folk music sung by both men and women. The Bihu folk music is played with the 'dhol'; the 'mohor singor pepe'(a pipe instrument); the 'tala' (a cymbal); the 'gogona' (a bamboo instrument) and the 'toka' (a bamboo clapper). The songs are dedicated to themes such as love, daily life of a farmer and Assamese new year. Bihu dance is performed by different tribes, each has added its own variation to it and named it after their tribe.

Sattriya Dance:
This is one of the famous classical dance from of Assam. It is a beautiful dance whose history dates back to the 15th century. This dance used to be performed in the Sattras and hence it was named as Sattriya dance. Through this dance the performers narrate mythological stories. This is the means of making the local people understand their religion in an enjoyable manner. This dance occupies an important place in the rituals of the monasteries of Assam. In monasteries it is performed everyday by male monks. The dance is performed in conjunction with music called 'borgeets' which are based on classical ragas.

Barpeta's Bhortal Nriyta:
This dance form is not very old and was founded by Narahari Burha Bbakat, a celebrated Sattriya dancer. This dance involves the participation of six to eight performers making graceful dance formation. It is mainly performed on special occasions in and around Barpeta and Guwahati.

The popularity of these dance forms of Assam is the result of the great passion of Assamese for their culture.

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