Deodhani dance is a folk dance from the Indian state of Assam. It is as a solo or group performance. In the group performance, it essentially comprises 3 or 4 women. This dance form is associated with the worship of the snake goddess Manasa or Maroi. Deodhani is derived from two words, i.e. Deo means God and Dhani mean woman. The term `Deodhani` depicts the dance of a woman when she is possessed by an evil spirit. Legends say that Behulaa (a character in Padma Purana) had to dance before the goddess Manasa to get back her husband’s (Lakhindar) life.
All About The Dance
The most shocking fact is that a dancer is an unmarried woman and devotee of Goddess Padma. The dancers keep her hair loose and dress like a female warrior. She dances to the music of big drums known as Joi-dhol and cymbals with various hand gestures and intricate footwork. The dancer wears a Mekhela made of munga silk, red blouse, different traditional jewelry and leaves her hair open. Not only that, they take a sword and shield and display a virile war dance during the performance not only that Her movement in each stage means for a different deity.
Intensity, Passion and Rituals of Deodhani
So the tune of the Chiphung and the beat of the drums will be different according to which she changes her body-movements. As the tempo of the music increases, the dance becomes faster and the dancer spins the whole body like a top and twists the neck, imitating a snake. This goes on till the dancer falls exhausted into a swoon. After the ending of the dance, the Deodhani predicts the fortune of the people and their other matters when the people ask her participation in the Puja. This dance form is sacred for the Assamese people as they get the blessing from the Lord. They also enjoy this dance firm in every small and big event.
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