Jhumar – It is a folk dance that is performed at the time of the harvest season. It shows a live demonstration of the happiness of the tribal people.
Janani Jhumar is a popular dance performed by the womenfolk of the region. It is a female version of the Jhumar dance. This dance marks the harvest season, which comes during the monsoon. It is a major attraction during the Karma festival celebrated during the month of Bhadrapad, according to the month of Hindu calendar. (August-September). Though janani jhumar is performed by women, men also join in the dance occasionally. This dance is accompanied by song and music. The musical instruments include mandar, dhol, kartal, bansuri and sarangi.
Mardana Jhumar – is a famous dance performed in Jharkhand. This dance celebrates the harvest season and is a major attraction in many fairs and festivals. It is performed by the men, wielding swords while dancing. The overall dance movements and the music have a martial flavor. The main stress is to portray the valor of a man. Although this is a group dance of men, one or two female dancers also join in the dance. These female dancers are termed as ‘nachnis.’ The music for the Mardana Jhumar dance is provided by loud instruments which elevates the martial mood of the menfolk. Music instruments include the shehnai, dhol, nagara, jhanjh and kartal.
Paika – is one of the very famous dance forms of Jharkhand. In fact, it is a dance form where martial arts is mixed with local dance steps. This dance form is only performed by the male members . To watch Paika dance is very interesting. It offers a thrilling entertainment to your eyes as the men dancers handle a sword in one hand and the shield in the other. They are dressed with safety chest plates and head wears for their protection. Bells are tied on their ankles to accompany with other musical instruments. This dance is accompanied by the melodious music of Narsingha, Shahnai, Bheir, Dhak and Nagara drums. The performers reach the climax with the fast beat of mandar. This folk dance of Jharkhand is also performed for welcoming guests during various functions. Paika is known as a ceremonial martial dance of Jharkhand and Bihar.
In ancient times, it was played by paikas, the traditional warriors who struggled for their kingdom. The descendents of these warriors are spread over in the rural areas of Jharkhand and Bihar, and most of them maintain this traditional dance. Presently, it is generally performed during weddings and festivals.
This is a dance that is performed by the males during the time of Hindu festival of Holi. This dance is mostly performed by men but women also join them occasionally.
The dancers perform a series of joyous dance movements and throw colored water and powder around as they dance. The dance is accompanied by a loud recital of folk song, which is called Phag. The music is produced by huge drums, locally known as dhal.
Chhou Dance- It is one of the main tribal dances of Jharkhand. This is a dance form that is performed in the tribal areas of Jharkhand as well as some parts of Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The Chhou dance is performed in an open space or a ground field, generally at the night time. The dancing area is surrounded by the torches or fire poles called the mashaals, for lighting in the dark. The dancers take bath and perform puja before their performance. This is for maintaining the sacredness of the dance, because the characters in the dance are of those of various Gods.
These dancers use colourful, big sized and decorative masks. Chhou dance is one of the tribal forms of the ‘nritya natika’ that means dance drama. Most of these Chhou dance performances are based on the stories of Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The dance is accompanied by the traditional nagada i.e. the drums, and the flute, which provide the background music. Chhau dance has three subgenres –– Mayurbhanj Chhau, Saraikela Chhau and Purulia Chhau. Chhau is a very tough dance form and it has received national and international acclaim and is known for its traditional beauty and message to the society.