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CHERAW DANCE- MIZORAM

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CHERAW DANCE, MIZORAM, INDIA

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Consisting of “four performers holding two crossed pairs of bamboo staves” is a dance form originating from India known as Cheraw. This “ritualistic” dance style is said to have originated from the north eastern state Mizoram. Apparently, this dance traditionally was performed so as to provide comfort to the soul of dead mothers. However, as of today this dance is performed during most festive events celebrated in the state. Furthermore, this dance form is also considered to be the “oldest” in Mizoram.

a. History/origin of the Cheraw Dance:

According to certain historical facts, this dance style was first developed in the Yunan Province in China during the 1st century. It was then during the 13th century that the mongoloid community introduced this dance into the state of Mizoram. Apparently, the intention in creating this dance style was, to provide solace to the souls of dead mothers. Furthermore, these days this dance is performed in the state on all major festive occasions.

b. Costumes used in the Cheraw Dance:

The costumes worn by the performers (mainly females) include colourful traditional dance attire belonging to the state that includes the Thihna, Vakiria, Kawrchei, and Puanchei.

c. Music involved in the Cheraw Dance:

The musical instrument mainly used in this dance form includes two crossed pairs of bamboo staves that the performers hold in their hands. In addition, the musical rhythm is created by the clapping of this bamboo staves.

d. Training availability and the technique involved in the Cheraw Dance:

In terms of technique, this dance involves performers alternatively moving in and out of a pair of crossed bamboo staves laid horizontally on the ground. In addition, this crossed bamboo staves are arranged on the ground by a few people facing each other on each side. Furthermore, the bamboo staves are clapped which results in a generation of sound which forms the basic musical rhythm for this dance. As for training schools/centres, there are none available around the country since this “bamboo dance” is mainly performed in the state of Mizoram located in the northeast of India.

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