Generally, the male performers sing and the female performers dance by matching their steps to lyrics of the song and sound of the instruments. While dancing, the girls stand in a straight line often making it semi-circular with their dancing movements. The dance steps mainly comprises of forward and backward moves in bending posture while gripping each other’s wrist or hand. In one form, the girls move around in a single file keeping the right hand on the right shoulder of the girl dancing in the front. While the dance goes on, the boys too make a straight line first then a semicircular maintaining compatibility with the girls. The different instruments used in Juang dance are tambourine, badakatha (drum), dhola (small drum), and madala.
Apart from the courtship dances, the Juangs also have animal dances that narrate stories of the lives of bear, pigeon, pig, tortoise, deer, elephant, koel, peacock, vultures, cock, hens and other wild animals. These stories are well known among the Juangs.
The people of Odisha celebrate the custom of ‘marriage-by-capture.’ This custom is commemorated in different countries and mainly in Central Europe and the Pyrenees. Even the Oraon tribes perform dance on this theme of Odisha. The Oraon version is known as the ‘Paika dance ’. This is performed when a wedding procession reaches the vicinity of a village. The men act as warriors equipped with wooden swords and shields. They then engage in furious mock fight, which is represented by dance that resembles the old tribal war dances. At the end of the performance, the bride is forcibly taken to the home of the bridegroom.
Costume of Juang Dance
Juang dance has no particular dress code. In the earlier days, the dancers used to adorn themselves with leaves paired with bead strings. Over the years, the dressing of women has changed to sari and ornaments like anklets, bangles and necklaces are used for decoration purpose. The men generally dresses themselves with dhoti, turbans etc. Traditionally, the jewelleries were designed to generate music to accompany the dance.