Ch. Santakar

Artistes from different parts participate

Dhemsa is popular dance form

It requires no practice, says a tribal artiste

KORAPUT: There was more of Dhemsa than any other tribal dance performed in the district-level cultural competition held on the premises of Koraput Cultural Society on Sunday as a part of the celebration of ‘Parab-2007’ in Koraput. Artistes from all parts of the district participated in the competitions. Even though there were a few representations from other forms of tribal dance like Rinjodi, Kathi Nacho and Kondho Nacho, the Dhemsa form dominated all of them.

According to Prafulla Padhi, a researcher on the tribal dance forms, it was because of its simplicity and wider acceptance to accommodate other form of dances into itself, Dhemsa had become more popular among the masses. Even though Dhemsa in its origin did not belong to any particular tribe like Rinjodi and Birli which belonged to the Paraja and Durua communities respectively, it was a combination of dances of tribals and Dhumsa, the musical instrument used by the Dombo community that fled Ghumsur in Bhanjanagar region into forests long ago, he added.

Primarily, tribes like Bhotra, Penthia and Bhuimia accepted this form of alliance for they had no instrument of their own unlike the Parajas, Duruas and Kondhs who had their own traditional musical instruments and songs to dance. But for the simplicity in its form and nature, Dhemsa was accepted by all tribes despite their strong affinity towards their own dance forms which they had performed during particular months and occasions, Bati Muduli, a tribal artiste from Machra said. While it needed a fair amount of practice to perform other dances, there was virtually no practice required to join Dhemsa, she added.

Common features

Over the ages Dhemsa had undergone a series of reforms and transformation with innovations getting added with each performance. Even though Hindani, Dhaundi, Jhula, Gotibetani, Khunda, Mandilachkami and Antajhulani were the seven common styles of Dhemsa performed in the region which had used instruments like Dhumsa , Mahuri, Tidibidi , competitions like that of Parab has brought new fusions into the art adding Dhampo and some other instruments for creating faster movements so as to entertain all , said Mr. Padhi.