One of the newest states of India, Telangana, has carved out of Andhra Pradesh – a state in the South. The state is widely known for its vibrant culture, and dances form an integral part. With the origin of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh, the dance form also features a new address. Yet, dance, music, and art still hold the age-old quintessence with a cultural history that dates back thousands of centuries. So, here are several of the most popular folk dance of Telangana.
Traditional Dances of Telangana:
1. Perini Sivatandavam
Also referred to as Perini Thandavam, Perini Sivatandavam may be a medieval dance form. It came to light within the 12th century during the Kakatiya dynasty. The dance form is related to Lord Shiva. This is often the dance of warriors, performed by men who dance to bells, conches, and drums. It’s believed that the dance-infused Prerna (inspiration) among the soldiers as they performed tandava in front of Lord Shiva’s idol before going to the battlefield.
Thus, the name – Perini Sivatandavam. It involves five elements – fire, water, air, earth, and wind, and celebrates ‘Om’. The Ramappa Temple in Warangal holds evidence of this dance form. At the temple, sculptures of the Perini Shiva Thandavam dance are still there.
The thousand pillared temples and shrines at Palampet and Ghanpur in Warangal also reflect Perini Thandavam. Because the Kakatiya Dynasty dwindled, the dance form pushed to darkness.
2. Dappu Dance
Dappu Nrityam or Dappu Dance may be a dance form of Telangana. Different names referred to as Dappu in various parts of the state, like Tapetta and Palaka. This dance form believed to possess originated in the Nizamabad district of Telangana.
Dappu dance form derives its name from the harmoniously cadenced instrument ‘Dappu,’ which is drum-shaped sort of a tambourine. Various names like Tapetta and Palaka realize it. In Telugu rural art (called Jana pada Kalalu), Dappu has a crucial role.
Usually, men perform this dance on many festive occasions during a group of fifteen to twenty. However, women can take part if performed as a celebratory dance. Dancing styles have slight variations for various occasions. As an example – while dancing on the road, dancers move forward and on stage when performed during a circular motion.
Lambadi is an ancient folk dance of Telangana (and Andhra Pradesh). It originated within the tribes of Rajasthan, which were semi-nomadic. These referred to as Lambadi’s, Banjaras, or Sengalis. The dance showcases tribal culture, highlighting their social ties, lifestyle, and religion. The daily lives of farmers reflected through this dance form and performed to hunt God’s blessings for a good harvest.
Performed by women, Lambadi dance has rare participation of men. The dance performed round the fire at night. Hand movements during the dance show activities involved in farming that include harvesting and sowing. Songs sung in various languages, like Rajasthani, Gujarati, Marathi, and Telugu.
Dancers clad themselves in flashy dresses with glittering work on them. Glitzy jewelry adds to the sight of the performance. The dance additionally performed at several festivals, like Diwali and Holi.
4. Oggu Katha
Oggu Katha, which suggests Oggu tales, believed to be an ancient folk theater kind of Telangana. It derives its name from Oggu – a little hand drum associated with Lord Shiva. This traditional dance sort of Telangana is more about narrating Hindu mythological stories while singing and praising Hindu gods. Societal issues also taken up as dance themes.
The performers tell Mallanna, Renuka Yellamma, Beerappa, and other local deities. Pastoral communities like Kuruma and Golla (Yadav’s) perform this kind. Today, over 100 Oggu Katha groups exist, comprising 4-6 performers.
This dance’s training and performance involves ten singing style varieties, makeup, dresses, dance movements, and unique use of musical orchestration. Other key elements of this kind include imagination and improvisation. With changing times, the tradition goes through several changes to passed on to the generations more easily.
5. Chindu Bhagavatam
Another folk dance of Telangana, Chindu Bhagavatam is all about telling epic tales through dance. The word ‘chindu’ means to leap, and therefore the performance peppered with leaps and jumps. It gained the name of Chindu Yakshaganam, the opposite name for Chindu Bhagavatam.
The term ‘Bhagavatam’ is related to it as most of the stories narrated are from ‘Bhagavatam’ – the Bhagavata Purana (translated as ‘the history of the Vaishnavas). because the performers dance and tell the story, the word has been related to it. Dance, music, dialogue, costume, makeup, and stage techniques combined with this dance form.
The dance form dates to the second century B.C. and has started by enacting brave acts like war, hunting, et al. Every act needed a visual communication of its own, and this dance form emphasizes the identical. It’s like Yakshaganam – a traditional theater form of Karnataka.
6. Gussadi Dance
Gussadi may be a folk dance in Telangana performed by Raj Gonds of the Gondulu tribes in the Adilabad district. The Padma Shri honor 2021 also bestowed upon the Gussadi dance exponent – Kanaka Raju. Gonds Deepavali is that the biggest festival for the Raj Gonds when the Gussadi dance performed.
The dance begins on the complete moon day and continues till the last day of the fortnight of Deepavali. Every performer of the dance dons a turban with peacock feathers in it and deer horns. They also sport artificial beards and mustaches, and goatskin on their body. All decked up in ostentatious ornaments.
Additionally, the dancers move within the villages as troupes. These singing and dancing troupes referred to as Dandari dance troupes. This dance form may be a part of Dandari and has two to five members in each troupe.
7. Tholu Bommalata
Tholu Bommalata may be a prevalent shadow theater tradition. As Tholu means leather and Bommalata means puppet dance, the term stands for “the dance of leather puppets.” Among other traditions, this dance form follows leather puppets, which are its most vital part, known for his or her colossal size. The dance concept predicated on epics, totally on Ramayana and Mahabharata.
However, some performances also are based on a few Vaishnava texts. Its folk expression may be a lovely amalgamation of various art forms that include music, dance, acting, painting, narrative storytelling, and engraving. Skits with live music comprise the performance.
The dance form is shadow based because the puppets perform behind a white curtain. The audience thus watches the colorful shadow dance of the puppets and not the puppets. A source of sunshine creates this magic and magical performance behind the curtain.
Folk Musical Instruments of Telangana:
The Kalikom may be a string instrument close to ektara, originating in India, common in ethnic music of Bengal, Odisha, and North Malay Archipelago, especially Baulgaan. It’s a one-headed drum with a string attached to it which plucked.
The ‘Raunja’ or ‘Runja’ sounds ferocious. The intricate beats that speed up progressively, makes for an intense rhythm.
The bugle is one among the simplest brass instruments, normally having no valves or other pitch-altering devices. All pitch control completed by varying the player’s embouchure.