The culture Uttarakhand is alive in the folk dances. The tribal communities in Uttarakhand perform seasonal dances such as Jhumeila, the Chaufula of Garhwal region and the Hurka Baul from Kumaon. They form a part of seasonal dances which are performed from 'Basant Panchami' to 'Sankranti' or 'Baisakhi'. Jhumeila is sometimes mixed but is usually restricted to women, whereas the Chaufula is a spinning dance performed by all sections of the community, at night, in groups by men and women. These folk songs are composed in appreciation of nature during various occasions.
Popular folk dances of Uttarakhand
The Garhwal and Kumaon regions are especially famous for the folk dances of Uttarakhand. They represent various stories and acknowledge the people about their ancestral past.
Hurka Baul Dance
Hurka Baul dance is performed during the cultivation of paddy and maize in the farms. On a fixed day, after performing the preliminary ritual, the dance is performed in different fields with different tunes. The dance is named according to the Hurka, which is the drum used for musical accompaniment in the performance of the dance and Baul is the song.
Pandav Nritya recites the ecstatic tale of five Pandava brothers of Mahabharata. It is performed mainly in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. It is a dance-drama performance that lasts for around 10 -12 days. It highlights the real story and deeds of the five Pandava brothers
The traditional tribe of Uttarakhand is known as Bhotiya dance. Men and women perform this dance highlighting the ancient culture and civilization of the Bhotiya community. It is like a death ritual performed by the community. According to traditional beliefs, the departed soul of the dead person remains in a goat or sheep. The Bhotiya dance liberates the departed soul from the animal.
Kumaon region of Uttarakhand mainly performs the Choliya dance. It is generally famous in Almora, Pithoragarh, and Champavat part of the Kumaon district. It is also known as the Sword Dance. It describes the traditional martial art practice of the Kumaoni tribe of Uttrakhand. It is a thousand-year-old dance form mainly practiced in Rajput weddings and gatherings.
Jhora is a famous dance performed in Kumaon during wedding, fairs, and arrival of the spring season. This dance form unites both high as well as the lower community. People dance in groups irrespective of their community. Men and women move in a circle, holding each other’s arms, and dancing with utmost grace.
Performed in the Vaishakha month according to the Hindu calendar, Mukhota dance worships God Bhumitayal. It is a dance form in which the participants wear traditional dresses and masks representing their deities and evil demons.
Langvir Nritya Dance
Langvir Nritya is a well-known dance that is spectacularly performed in Uttarakhand. A group of men gets up on a pole while balancing on their stomachs to perform this unique kind of dance.
Jhumeila Dance is a folk dance form from Uttarakhand. This form of dance is so well-known that visitors from all over the world flock to Uttarakhand to marvel at its beauty and cherish it.
Chhapeli is a type of traditional dance from Uttarakhand. Men and women performing this dance should be lovers who desire to strengthen their bonding, according to the indigenous tribe's conventions, rituals, and customs. The dance is performed wearing vibrant attire while holding instruments.
Barada Nati Dance
Barada Nati is a type of folk dance performed by the inhabitants of Jaunsar Bhawar, which is situated in Uttarakhand's Chakrata hill area. It is a form of dance drama performed by men and women.
Ramola Dance is a folk form of dance originated in Uttarakhand. It is performed by Kumaon residents, who are also noted for lavishly celebrating every event in the town.