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Dance and Music

Paroja Dance, OrissaAn integral part of the festivals and ceremonies of the tribal population of Orissa is their affluent and diverse tradition of music and dance which they have retained and gracefully maintained since ages. They exhibit their emotions through the medium of music – their happiness and pathos, their cravings and yearnings, their passion and lifestyle, their fondness for nature and outlook towards the human society. Although the art of performing the songs and dances differ from one clan to another, yet certain features are generally familiar to all. The tribal dances are complemented with rhythmic beats of drum-beats, clapping of hands (by the dancers / spectators) or a diminutive arrangement of musical instruments. The tribal people are supposed to be born poets or musicians. They compose and sing their own melodious numbers to pour out their heart’s content. 

Life is never easy for these tribal clans. However, fighting against all oddities of life for their survival, they have sustained and carefully preserved their wide-ranging legacy of multi-speckled dance and melodies. Interestingly, they are never professionally trained or guided on these subjects; both dance and music form an integral part of their livelihood through which they divulge their suppressed expressions, feelings and thoughts. Age or gender is not any bar for these performing arts young or old, male or female – all form groups and get awfully engrossed and addicted with the beats of drums. They dance to the numbers sung by them. The male members take the initiative to play the music in the form of flutes or drum beats. There are vigorous and uniform movements of various body parts. To add colour to their performances, often they attire themselves in colourful dancing costumes and gears.

In order to articulate and convey the thrill of belonging in the lap of nature, they often express their emotions and delight by humming songs and tunes. These songs are either traditional or weaved by them. The varied human sentiments are revealed through the lyrics and tunes like wit, spoof, fables etc. These songs have a fragrance of the earth - raw and natural, not mixed with so called modern, urban music-mixtures. Different types of songs are sung during the time of festivals and occasions where they sing to the glory of Gods and Goddesses, praise the bounty of nature or narrate anecdotes from the epics. To conclude, the passion of dance and music enables them to breathe free from the hardships of mundane life and rediscover their souls in joy and ecstasy.



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