Sunday, September 12, 2010

Type of Newar Dances

Mask Dances



Mahakali Dance




This is one of the most popular masked dances of the Newars. It is based on the religious story from a Hindu Puran Called 'Mahakali Mahalaxmi'. According to this , the three goddess Mahakali, Mahalaxmi, and Kumari (three of the eight deities that protect the eight directions of Kathmandu Valley and have different ghost followers. These mother goddesses were practiced by Eighty four sidhhas to gain mystic power) came down to heaven to vanquish the demons who spread great misery and hardship among human beings. So the almighty Goddesses waged a great war with the demons and defeated them, thus stabilizing peace and order on earth. This dance shows the great joy and happiness after the great victory over the demons. Religious Mahakali Dance festival is celebrated in Madhyapur Thimi in the next evening of Gaijatra. The dance is performed in Chapacho, Balkumari, Lokanthalee, Nagadesh of Thimi for four days. The dances of Maha-Kali, Maha-Laxmi, Kumari, Sinha, Byata, Ghost, Bhairab, Kwan, Khyak and Maka is performed while celebrating this festival. The dance was initiated in the time immemorial to escape the Ghost and Pisach from Thimi.







Lakhey dance




This is one of the classical dance of Nepal. Once in a year during the festival of Indrajatra which is celebrated for nearly a week during the end of September or first part of October. Almost all the settlements of Newar have Lakhey dance at least once a year. Almost all of these Lakhey dances are held in the Goonlaa month. So, they are called Goonlaa Lakhey. However, the most famous Lakhey dance is the Majipa Lakhey dance. It is performed by the Ranjitkars of Kathmandu. The dance takes place for a week during the week containing the full moon of Yenlaa month. The Lakhey are considered as the saviors of children..
According to people's belief, Lakhey are man eating demons living in the dense forest. They hunt animals and people passing through the jungle. Whenever they have a good meal they dance with jog. Previously Lakhey dancers used to select victims for human blood sacrifices.







Monkey dance


It is performed by the teenagers wearing traditional customs and sticks in their hands. The Nepalese still pay great respect to the sacred myths and legends. According the religious epic Ramayan, the dance was performed by the monkeys to express their joy and happiness to their Lord Ram and his wife Sita after their victory over the demon king Ravan of Sri Lanka.




Khyak Dance 



Khyaks are supernatural beings. They are believed to be followers of Goods and goddess. They were visible to the people before electricity arrived. They are quite harmless. They simple used to frighten people at night. What the dancers perform is just the expression of Khyak's naughty nature. They perform dances to entertain Gods and Goddess.




Kawan (Skeleton) Dance 



According to people's belief, kawans are the evil spirits to be seen mostly at street-crossing and cremation-grounds. They accompany the Gods and Goddess during their adventures. Sometimes they trouble people, causing stomach pain. But one can get rid of it easily by making some offerings, following the advice of a witch doctor.





Devi Daitya Sangram (The battle of Goddess and Demon)



This is dramatic dance form, here the hand some brave demon sees a beautiful girl and immediately falls in love with her. Then he proposes to marry her, but she answers that she will only accept one who can defeat her in a battle. the egoist demon gets very angry and tries to catch her. But it is not possible. They start battling. The demon sees her in every where as the furious. Goddess kali and collapses on the ground with fear. Then the goddess, one who is the universal power stands on him.





Folk Dances



Jyapu- Jyapuni (Dhimey) Dance



This farmer's pair dance is generally performed during the harvest season in their community get together along with lively music and songs.




Indra Apsara (Nymph) Dance

In Veda, Indra is a divine supreme Hero of the Universe, king of Gods, who dances with Nymphs in the Heaven. This event as a memory for the local people of Thimi (Madhyapur) as if dead family members are watching this performance in the Heaven. The dresses of the dancers are, however, influenced by customs of Rana Minister's period. This Dance is in medieval style.



Lusi (Pestle) Dance

This is satirical street performance of social and political life, both on the local and international levels. However, the style of choreography and music are always same, only the story will be different according to time and space.



Charya Dances




Manjushree

Manjushree, believed to have come from Mahachin, holds a special place in Nepalese culture as a Bodhisatwa who made Kathmandu Valley inhabitable by draining the water out of it. Long ago, the Kathmandu valley was a lake. Manjushree with his two consorts Barada and Mokshada came to Kathmandu to pay homage to Lord Swoyambhu.



Bajrayogini

Bajrayogini, the goddess of yogic practices dances joyfully in bright red color. She is the consort of Heruka and personifies the feminine energy. The temple of Goddess Bajrayogini is situated 3 miles from Kathmandu.



Pancha Buddha

The Pancha Buddha or Five Buddhas are Vairochana, Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha Buddhas and Amoghasiddhi. Each of these transcendental Buddhas has his particular color, posture, direction and wisdom.



Rakta Ganesh 

The image of Rakta Ganesh (Red Ganesh) is generally found along with Mahakala at the entrance to monasteries in the valley as a protective deity. He is elephant headed and has three eyes.



Arya Tara

She is of green color and regarded as a consort of Amoghasiddhi. She protects the suffering beings in crossing the ocean of Samsara, of this life of suffering



1 comment:

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