The Bengal is a state which is well known for its richness and variety in dance reflecting the cultural heritage of the state. In the olden ages
Some of the best and well known dances in Bengal are as follows:
- Brita dance:
Brita dance is one of the traditional folk dances in Bengal. The other name of Brita dance is Vrita dance. Brita dance is considered to be one of the special dances in west Bengal having high importance which is considered to be a form of prayer to God. In this dance the devotees thanks God for happiness in their life. It is mostly performed by the barren women’s so that they can get the blessings of the God and can give birth to the child with the God blessings. After the wish of a child is fulfilled the woman again perform the Brita dance to thank God.
- Chhau Dance:
The majority of the dancers in Chhau Dance are Bhumji as it is predominantly a Bhumji art. Chhau Dance is one of the mask dances in India. Under this the dancers wear the mask representing the character’s like God, animals, trees, devil, hunters and many other which is mainly performed in the month of Chaitra .The dancers body acts as the way to communicate the expression, feelings and emotions. No songs are played during the performance only the instrument is played.
- Gambhira dance:
One of the famous devotional dance and well known folk dance of Bengal is Gambhira dance. This dance is mostly performed by the devotees of Goddess Shakti. The name of the dance is Gambhira because this dance is performed in the dance hall named Chandi Mandir- Gambhira. The Gambhira hall has a specially constructed pavilion in front of the shrine for the dance. There are two main characters in the performance which are accompanied by a chorus. The two main characters are nana and nati which means maternal grandfather and grandson. Under this the dancers spread the messages related to politics, social issues, economic and moral problems.
- Tusu Dance:
Tulsa is a dance form which is performed on Makarsankranti at Birbhum district of West Bengal. This dance is performed in groups with both men and women together. This Tusu dance has got its name from Tusu parable or Tusu festival. On Makarsankranti people gather together and go to a bank or river with the idol of God Tusu which is sometimes made up of cowdung balls or clay. The performance of the dance is more traditional in nature, where the men dance in circles in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction.Unmarried girls also performs this dance with graceful steps which is a way to approach God for fulfilling their desire of getting married.
- Jatra Dance:
Jatra is considered as one of the traditional folk theatre famous in the eastern region of India. In Hindi Jatra word means journey thus the style and gestures are somewhat similar to the Jatra. The roots of Jatra have been originated from the 16th century in Bengal thus the first Krishna Jatra has been started and is still carried out on a large scale. It is associated with the ceremony that is done before starting any new journey. There are many other legends who indicate that Jatra has been developed from processions brought out in respect of different gods and goddesses. These processions often included songs and dances as its important part.
These are some of the important and well known traditional and folk dances listed for the reference one can go much deeper regarding the traditional and folk dances as there is no limit in regards of entertainment, grace, beauty, passion and the craze of the Bengal and the desire to develop their traditional and folk dances is vast.