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Dancing tigers colour city

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Traditional fervour: The tiger dance.
Traditional fervour: The tiger dance.

AMRUTA RAO

Some children in Mangalore spent their Dasara Holidays differently — they tried learning the tiger dance. Children painting their bodies like tigers and performing tiger dances along with their troupe, is a common sight during most festivals that follow Krishna Janmasthami .

Inspired by peers, they were waiting for the vacation to learn and perform ‘Hulivesha’ (tiger dance). . They were taught many dance steps by their masters and to dance to the rhythm of the drums. The city saw many new performers this season.

The participants

Many children get inspired when they see others perform in the night long processions during Navarathri and Krishna Janmashtami. Santhosh Kumar, also known as black tiger, who owns the ‘Urwa Store Hulivesha’ Troupe, encourages children to join as he thinks that his troupe gets more attention. “I try to get as many kids as possible for the dance. Many of them come because they are interseted,” he said.

Bharat, a 10-year-old-year old dancer of the troupe said, “I have a passion for the art. It is fun to be a part of the dance and I feel happy when people watch my dance”.

For those trained in the art, Dasara holidays are special. “During the Dasara holidays, I always wear the hulivesha and go with my troupe from shop to shop and perform the tiger dance,” says nine-year-old Raghu from the troupe of Seetharama Sharada Huli of Car Street.

Mangaloreans love it all. Veena Mayya, a resident of Surathkal, says, “It is always enchanting to watch the baby tiger’s dance. They dance with more enthusiasm than the elders. It also upholds the religion and custom in the mind of the kids”.


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