CHANG LO- NAGALAND

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CHANG LO DANCE, NAGALAND, INDIA

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Also referred to as “Sua La” is a folk dance belonging to the northeast of India called Chang Lo. This “colourful” dance form is said to have originated from the state of Nagaland. Apparently, this style of folk dancing has been developed by a tribal community known as “Chang”. In addition, according to ancient tradition this dance is supposed to be performed after victory is achieved over an opponent during battle. However, as of today this dance form is mainly performed during a three day festival known as “Poanglem”.

a. History/origin of the Chang Lo Dance:

According to the cultural history of Nagaland this dance form was first created by a tribe known as Chang. The intention behind creating such a dance was to enable a warrior to celebrate victory achieved over his enemies during battle. Furthermore, as of today this dance is performed to welcome the beginning of harvest season in the state.

b. Costumes used in the Chang Lo Dance:

Since this dance is performed by both male and female the costume used varies according to gender. So while the costume for men include the original armour of the ancient Naga warrior. The costume of the women dancers on the other hand is essentially more “feminine” and comprises of colourful attire.

c. Music used in the Chang Lo Dance:

The musical instrument mainly used in the creation of music for this dance form is the drum.

d. Training availability and dance techniques involved in the Chang Lo:

In terms of technique, this dance form essentially involves maximum and minimum movements of the feet and of the upper body respectively. In addition, this dance style also revolves around a group (i.e. male and female performers) who move in complete synchronization with the music along with lots of clapping and chanting. Furthermore, since this is essentially an indigenous dance form belonging to Nagaland which has been passed from one generation to another, there are no schools/training centres in the country available to all those interested in learning this “unique” folk dance.

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