Dances of Nepal

Nepalese Chariya (Classical) Dance

1. Kumari

This is one of the very ancient classical dances of the kingdom of Nepal. This dance is dedicated to the well known living Goddess "Kumari" of Kathmandu. During the famous "Indrajatra" festival in Kathmandu, the Goddess Kumari, decked with splendid ornaments is taken round the old Kathmandu in traditional chariot and thousand of Nepalese people pay homage to her, including the king of Nepal.

2. Manjushree Dance:

Manjushree is the oldest of the Bodhisattvas and his worship confers on the devotee wisdom, retentive memory, intelligence and eloquence. He is the patron of those who preach the Dharma. In Nepal he has a special place, for according to the Buddhist legends it is Manjushree who came from Maha Chin, worshipped the self-existent flame at the edge of the lake, which covered the valley, and then drained the Valley by cutting through the ridge at its rim with his flaming sword thus making the Valley fit for human habitation. the famous Swayambhu Maha chaitya marks the place of the self-existent flame and to the west of the chaitya is an important shrine of Manjushree.

3. Panache Buddha Dance:

The Panache Buddha "Five Buddha" is the five transcendental Buddhas of tantric Buddhism. According to Bajrayana teaching, original consciousness, usually symbolized by Bajrasattva of Vajradhara, is radiated into these Five Buddha's: Vairochana "The Brilliant One", Aksobhaya "The Unshakable", Ratnasambhava "The Matrix of the Jewel", Amitabha"The Infinite Light", and Amoghasiddhi "The Infallible Realization". Each has his particular posture, color and direction and form of them are situated at the cardinal points of the stupa with the fifth. Vairochana considered as separate deities, but as the five constituents of personality (skanda) which reside in each man.

4. Bajrayogini Dance:

Named after the goddess, Bajrayogini, this is one of the ancient classical dance of Nepal. According to the Buddhist tantric tradition, there are four Yoginis or tantric goddesses in the Kathmandu Valley. Bajrayogini is depicted as greatly pleased with her devotees for their prayers and thereupon shovering blessings on them. Of particular importance are the symbolic movements of hands and huger dexterously timed with general body movements and facial expressions. This dance demonstrates a beautiful blend of wrathful feelings and peaceful motions, suggesting at the same time a strong sense of protection and preservation. It is preformed particularly in the Buddhist temples on special occasions of going through the rituals

5. Arya Tara Dance:

This is a popular Charya dance of ancient times. As mentioned in mythology, during the middle Ages Arya Tara "The Holy Mother", manifested herself at the request of Sarbagya Mitra, to liberate human belongs from mundane problems, so as to help attain "Mokchya" - Spiritual Liberation. The song for this Charya dance describs the various merits of Arya Tara. This dance was specially preformed as a part of the rituals followed during the religious festivals and ceremonies in full regalia

Nepalese Folk Dance

6. Jhyaure Dance:

Jhayure dance is popular among the community of the Gandaki zone of the western part of Nepal. This dance is preformed by the young boys girls in happy mood after a good meeting with theirs lovers.

7. Tappa Dance:

This dance is popular in the Rapti zone, especially Dang districts. The dance starts in a slow key and the tempo gets faster and faster towards the end. The hand drum is called Madal which is also very popular in Nepal. Essentially the dance is based on the rhythm or beating of the Madal. This is where the word or name 'Tappa' comes into the dance title.

8. Sorathi Dance:

It is very popular dance of Gurung, A hardly hill people living along the southern slopes of the Annapurna Himalayas in mid-west Nepal. They have a very interesting dance tradition. In this dance the central figure (a male dancer represented as a Jaisinge Raja- the name of a King) dances in turn, with other female dancers- the sixteen queens of the Raja and two other male dancers usually accompany him with their drums. The madals provide the background music and settings.

many ways in the high mountain areas since it is the only animal, which can carry loads in high altitudes.It is said that yeti is seen in the mountains of Nepal. This dance is created for the rememberence of Yak and Yeti.

9. Newari (Dhime)

It is popular among the Newar Community and preformed during harvest seasons. This form of dance originated in 13th century during Malla period.
The Newar Community is predominant in Kathmandu valley. Their culture is of very high grade. It has become the synonym of the community as a whole. The Dhime Dance is associated with high culture. It has great culture sighificance, It is performed in special accessions. The Dhime is their traditional musical instrument. It is like a drum and played both side with hand and sticks.

10. Sherpa
This dance belongs to the ethnic community of Sherpa who dwell in the foot-hills of the Himalayas of Nepal. They are a cheerful community with plenty of feasting, singing and dancing. Being a mobile race they are scattered in different places and on occasions when they enjoy celebrating such meetings with songs and dances.

11. Tamang Selo

The Tamang Community covers around half of the Himalayan zones in Nepal. This is the largest Tibet Burma ethnic group. Their culture has played a significant role in the Composite culture of Nepal. The Tamang Solo is performed on their own important occasions. "Damphu" their own traditional instrument, is the heart of the Dance. It is the pride of the community. Both men and women take part in the dance. Their traditional costumes and ornaments are delightful. The interesting aspect of the dance is that the young dancers take this opportunity to choose their life partners

12. Kauraha

This dance is usually performed by the Magar community who inhabit the mid-hills of Nepal. This dance is woven around the theme of love. It is

13. Bhojpuri

This is very popular dance of southern part Nepal, popularly known as 'Terai'. This dance is especially noted for the movements of the body and facial expressions. It is a romantic dance of the spring and autumn festivals when the young people attempt to attract each other.

14. Dhimal

The Dhimals are the ethnic minority in Nepal. They inhabit in a particular region of eastern tarai in Nepal. However, they are rich in their own culture and have significant contribution in the Nepalese cultural scenario. Agriculture is he main occupation of the Dhimals apart from agriculture, fishing, weaving and hunting have also been prominent among them. The dance is always in the group. Both male and female take part in the dance. Their own traditional costumes of fishing activities among them.

15. Ghatu:
This dance is popular among the village people of Gandaki Zone in West Nepal. The ethnic tribe to the area performs this dance round the year. So this dance is also known as 'Bara Mase Ghatu'. This dance performed by the unmarried girls among the local people.

16. Khali:

Khali dance, Which falls under the genre of the Jhayure dance. It is suggested that Jhayure is dance to kill time and Khyali suggests that it is fun filled. As the beat of the madal fills the evening air, young people sing and dance under the peepal tree. There is playful bantering and flirtations which could lead into competitions. Young men can even win wives in such contests if they can outwit them in their song compilations.

17. Sangini:

In the Northern Nepal, community of Brahman and Chhetri ladies together to celebrate festivals. In this very time they dance in the religious and auspicious occasion of fasting of Satyanarayan's story, Swosthani and Teej (These all are very popular and holly festival of Nepal.)

18. Jhijhiya dance:

It is the dance participated by a group of young women. it is performed during the great festival Vijava Dashami. On their heads the performing women carry lanterns (pots made of clay) with several holes and diyos (candles lit with mustard oil) inside, thus allowing light to come out through the holes. On the lantern is a dhakan (a cover made of clay) with fire burning the dried dung cakes. Women purposely dance slowly with lanterns on their heads so that the holes can be counted. This dance is said to be influenced by the Tantric cult and preformed mainly to protect people from evil spirits.

19. Chandi:

In the community of Kirati Rai, use to worship with full trust to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parbati praying for every soul may get peace, may all works get success in the village and many more and mare crops get in by farmer. This very special dance use to dance with charming and cheerful faces.

20. Peacock:

Peacock in Nepal holly bird. It supposed to be the carrier of Saraswati, the goddess of learning when the clouds gather and the sound of thunder is heard the excited birds starts to dance.

21. Yak and yeti:

Everyone is aware that Nepal is the land of the Yak and Yeti. The Yak is very lovable animal. Not only its milk shrunk but it can also be used in

22. Lakhe:

Lakhe dance is actually devil brought from far of Nepal. After be agreed to refrain from killing any human being and eating their faction blood to satisfy with the food offer by the people and be alert for the safety of public during the Indra Jatra festival dancing with sound of jingle in the musical background of typical drums.

23. Jhankri or witch doctor:

During the by gone days when the medical facilities were almost nil in the country sick person used to be taken to these witch doctors to get cured. Even now in the innermost part of the mountains and villages this practice is still prevailing among the illiterate persons. What the witch doctor does to cure a patient you will see in the dance itself.

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