(Last Updated on : 25/08/2014)
Karyala is a popular form of folk dancing in Himachal Pradesh
. The word Karyala has been probably taken form the word karola or karaula meaning 'teasing' or 'having fun.' This form of fold play is enacted in the dialect of Sirmaur District
. Through there is no clue about its origin, it is often believed that Karyala has been derived from the classical Sanskrit theatre. On the other hand there are others who believe that it originated during the eighteenth century. Karyala is usually performed during the Dussehra
festival in the months of October and November. Earlier it was performed constantly for sixteen nights, but presently it can be presented for any number of days and during any occasion. Karyala is now enacted during village fairs or by individuals as a part of a promise to the gods for fulfilling his or her wishes.
Performance of Karyala
Karyala is usually enacted in open-air in a space that measures about 3 m by 4 m. Here all the important accessories are kept like the two dyuts which are lamps that are fixed on tripods. These are made of forked branches and are positioned on two sides. A stack of lighted sticks are also kept to keep people warm. It is also seen as an object of worship. Drummers play the drums that announce about the commencement of the performance. Karyala is performed throughout night and involves enactment of many small playlets like mimicking and teasing different small characters that villagers encounter in their daily life. Among the various acts that are performed, Chandravali and the Bairagi are the two acts that are compulsorily performed. Chandravali is performed during the opening ceremony of any Karyala event. It serves as the function of consecrating the arena. Bairagi is a humorous act that includes amusing yet inspiring conversation between various types of mendicants, some who are knowledgeable while others being deceptive.
The other scenes that re enacted are also full of fun and frolic and are of double-entendre dialogue. These acts reflect the wit and improvisatory skill of the performers are usually not scripted and enacted orally. The lines have a rhythm and are poetic. Music and dance are rarely associated with it. The music that is performed is usually based on familiar regional melodies while dance is also performed in selected episodes like the Chandravali. Dhol, nagara drums, naphiri, and karnal are few instruments that are used in the play.