India is a country with a plethora of cultural treasures and dance is one of them. Dance is a fully-fledged art form, belonging to the ‘performing  arts’ which allows a human to express his feelings, thoughts and experiences. 

In Hindu mythology, dance is believed to have been conceived by Brahma. Lord Brahma is said to have inspired the sage Bharata Muni to write the Natya Shastra, a treatise on performing arts, from which a codified practice of dance and drama emerged. The best known of Hindu deities Shiva, Kali and Krishna are typically represented by dancing. Shiva’s cosmic dance, tandava, Kali’s dance of creation and destruction and Krishna’s raas lilas are popular motifs in Hindu mythology. 

Dance has been prevailing in India since ancient times. The primitive beings of the subcontinent -the paleolithic people are depicted enjoying various dances in cave paintings, even before historic times. India offers a number of classical dance forms and their origin can be traced to diverse parts of the country. Each dance form signifies the culture and traditions of a particular area or group of people. There are many folk dances in India such as Bhangra, Bihu, Ghumura dance, Sambalpuri, Chhau Garba etc. Every folk dance portrays a glimpse of life and its significance.

Raigarh, renowned as “Chhattisgarh’s cultural capital” and  “India’s music and dance hub” has made its own identity due to the birth of a few known musicians and artists on it’s land. It is well known for its exquisite dance form ‘Kathak’ as well as classical music. It’s credit goes to Maharaja Chakradhar Singh under whose patronage, Raigarh flourished as a center of art and culture. He was a legendary musician, a talented dancer as well as the former monarch of Raigarh. He was also excellent at singing and playing a Tabla. His love for these art forms could be seen during the Great Ganesh Chaturthi Mahotsav. He used to sing and play the Tabla during the festival, mesmerizing everyone with his music. So every year on the occasion of the festival Ganesh Puja, Chakradhar Samaroh is organized in Raigarh.  Chakradhar Samaroh is a melting pot of multiple Indian art forms and one can expect Sitarists, Tabla players, vocalists, classical singers, folk singers; Kathak, Odissi and Bharatanatyam dancers and poets all under one roof. Chakradhar Samaroh is among the most famous cultural festivals of Chhattisgarh known for its special music and dance performances that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the state. This mega event is a feast for the art enthusiasts, a lively tribute to the gifted artists and is an opportunity to resurrect the fading allure of Indian art forms.

Dance in India has always been more than just entertainment to its people. It is a way of showing the vastness of India’s cultural diversity. Dance plays an important role in comprehending the course of life and civilization and evolution helps us to understand the controversies and history related to it.  

Nishtha Akhiyaniya

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