Dance & Theatre
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Deodhani dance from Assam

Deodhani dance is a ritual dance of Assam performed in honour of serpant goddess Manasa. It is performed solo or in a group of three or four females. According to Padma Purana (one of the major eighteen Puranas), Behulaa had to dance before the goddess Manasa to get back her husband’s (Lakhindar) life.

The dancers wear Mekhala, the traditional dress of Assamese, in Muga, red blouse as their dress combination along with traditional jewellery. While dancing the dancers leave their hair open and they dance to the tune of Jaidhol (a cylindrical percussion instrument) and Khutitaal (palm sized Cymbal). Men play cymbals, gradually increasing the tempo, and the performer is expected to dance into frenzy.

This dance depicts the process of worshiping Devi Manasa. Dancers’ rotating their head in rapid circular motion with open stresses is a striking moment of this dance. Assam is the gateway to the north-eastern states of India.