Needless to say, Bihar has a very rich tradition of dancing in its pristine quality. The need of the hour is to protect such dance forms from the influences of urbanisation so that even in ages to come, people can still remember.
The dances of Bhikhari Thakur, popularly known as Bidesia nach, have for their themes satire on some aspects of the social evils like child marriage, dowry system etc. Elements of drama too were introduced in the dance in as much as the songs have dialogues divided by wits and epigrams. In Bidesia, the female roles are played by the male actor-dancers. Normally, they wear dhoti or shirt trousers and for the appearance in case of female roles, they are artificial long haired for the same. Though many new means of communication and entertainment are developed recently, Bedesia remains the most popular and refreshing relaxation for the Bhojpuris.
Bidesia virtually gave voice to many social concerned topics like the cause of poor labourers and tried to create awareness about the poor status of women in the Bhojpuri society.
3. Jhijhia dance
Jijya or Jhijhia is one of the most eminent dances of Bihar, Jhijhia depicts a band of young belles adoring and offering.Rain plays crucial role in agriculture. When there is a total drought and there is not even a single drop of water anywhere, the lands are cracked and parched, the sky is lifeless without clouds and the people are awaiting rains-this is the time when the village women pray to lord Indra for rain. They sing and dance to please the Lord of Rain with their deep devotion. Such type of dance and singing is called jhijhia.
This is the message of the most eminent folk dance of Bihar. The performers for this ritualistic dance include a lead singer, harmonium player, bansuri player and a drummer to play the dholak. There are two female singers popular for their rhythmic language, sweet songs appealing music.
The folk dance of Jumari is performed especially in Mithilanchal of Bihar. This dance of Bihar is similar to that of ‘ Garba performed in Gujarat.’ Only married women performs, hence it also signifies a good omen. After the month of Ashvin in September- October, the next one is the Kartik month and at this time, the sky becomes crystal clear, without any traces of clouds. The full moon looks attractive and spreads its milky rays in all directions. Such a romantic atmosphere gets the married women to go on dancing, singing and celebrating the funs of the season. Actually, Jumari is related to the season.
6. Sohar-Khilouna Dance
Sohar, having its own distinctive diction, is a ceremonial dance to celebrate the pleasure of new birth in a family. It is celebrated all over the country with different traditional rituals. Sohar is sung in Bihar on the occasion of birth of a child. While singing, ladies praise the child with Lord Rama, sometimes with Lord Krishna and with many other gods. This is a very important function, where all women gather and enjoy. The ladies bless the baby while singing and acting the tender words of Sohar ‘Marchia baithal sasu pucheli’. –employed as a single unit, as his language. This body language is extremely poetic and powerful. The legs form an effective means of communicating the expression. Although the face is covered by the mask it mysteriously expresses the feelings to be communicated.
Traditionally Domkach is played in Mithila region. The word kacchab means in old Maithili to play the role of or to mimic some one. So, domkach means ‘playing other’s role by the men of dominant caste’
The ladies bless the baby while singing abd acting the tender words of Sohar “Marchia Baithal sasu pucheli”
- Tourism Perspective in Bihar, Author Nishi Sinha,Publisher APH Publishing, 1999
- Folk dance traditions of India,Author Shovana Narayan,Publisher Shubhi Publication, 2004
- Article of C.P.Chandan in Pratiyogita Darpan Jul 2009