Nautanki Dance form of Uttar Pradesh
Nautanki is a dance form of Uttar Pradesh which is a combination of mythological plays and folklore. It is an operatic form of theatre performance. When there was no other form of entertainment in the villages, Nautanki was the biggest refreshment of the rural people. The humor in the dance, musical compositions, and entertaining storylines everything together made a lovely package for the people to enjoy. The themes of the dance generally revolve around the heroic deeds of the people in the past or religious epics. Sometimes, they are based on patriotic themes and day-to-day social problems faced by common people.
Characteristics Of The Dance Form:
This dance performance normally begins at midnight and continues till the daybreak of the next day. The main element of this dance is that it is performed in a secular and open dramatic manner. As per the changing demands of the rural people this dance form has also got developed much more to offer a high amount of enjoyment to them. They are generally performed on maidens or courtyards. The performances appeal to the emotions of the people directly. The melodic exchanges between the performers and a chorus in the middle are the actual pleasure of the dance. Some of the highly known traditional Nautankis are Sultana Daku, Syah-Posh, Amar Singh Rathore, Indal Haran, Harischandra-Taramati and Bhakt Puranmal. Some contemporary ones include Subah Ka Bhoola, Mission Suhani, Beti ka Byah, etc.
This form of dance was started hundred years back and one can find its mention in a book written by Abul Fazal named Ain-e-Akbari. During the 16th centuries, this folk was performed on Raasleela and Bhagat. Gradually, this dance form evolved and started becoming famous in several parts of Northern India. Recently, an artist named Dr. Davendra Sharma introduced the Nautanki dance in America. Several doctors and engineers are performing on this art so that they remain attached to the Indian roots even in a foreign land.