Juang Dance

In the history of dance and culture of North Odisha, Juang Dance of Keonjhar adds an extra feather.
Juang is the primitive tribe of Keonjhar settled in the remotest, forest area, who sand the light of
culture and civilization after a long time from independence. They are the inhabitants of such
locality that, government’s welfare schemes and programmes reached very lately. Still also we find
the Juang tribe not so highly developed to make an adjustment to the highly advancing competitive
world scenario.

Juang dance in Keonjhar is performed and danced by the Juang girls. It is a dance of the young girls
and maidens, displayed in their primitive dancing pattern. The impressive part of the dance is it’s
costumes as the Juang girls perform the dance with the leaf dress or garments.
Colonel Dalton has given an interesting account of Juang dance being danced by the Juang girls
dancing in their leaf garments when he witnessed them more than 150 years ago. As stated by
colonel Dalton – “In Juang dance, the performers make their first appearance at night and danced by
torch light, that it was a wild weired like sight. The girls are being helped by their kiths and kins
exclusively of the male category as the girls are the dancers here. The men presented there go on
signing as they start dancing.

The chief and important musical instrument used to perform the Juang dance is ‘Tambourine’. Each
and every step of the dance is being stepped or put on with the musical rhythms of tambourine.
Tamgbourine is made of a plate line round shaped wood piece, in oneside it is vacant and the other
is bounded tightly with the skin mostly from the skin of a type of reptile. In the round shaped plate
form some small gini or cymbals are being hanged and when it is beaten, a sweet sound comes
along with the gini items in a mixed manner from tambourine.
The Juang girls perform the dance accompanying themselves on deep sounding tambourines
holding together and circling around in a solemnly grotesque manner. We find a want of spirit in the
performance of the Juang performers with their usual Juang dance costumes. They seem spirited
and sportive.

The performers are very natural to feel the sense of pleasure by the torch light by enjoying so many
spectacular sights. When they returned, arranged in fresh leaves, audience provoke them to go an
dancing with a variety in sportive spirit some quite in dramatic effects and scenes and it was
together, a mostinteresting ‘ballet’.Inone figure, the girlsmoved round (57) in single file keeping the
right hand on the right shoulder of the girl in front, in another bodies inclined, they wrethed their
arms, advanced and retreated in line. During this time, the dance performance bore a strong
resemblance to the Koi Dance, Juang dance has many animal posture dance styles.
In the Bear Dance format of Juang Dance, the girls act independently advance with bodies so much
inclined, that their hands touch the grounds, thus they not only move like bears but also by a motion
from the knees to the bodies wriggle violently and the broad tails of green leaves flap up and down
in a most ludicrous manner.

In the Pigeon format of Juang dance, we find the action of a love making pigeon, when he struts,
pouts, sticks out his breast and scrapes the ground with his wings, was well imitiated. Here the
Juang dancing girls behave themselves like the love making pigeons being on their duty.
In the Pig and Tortoise format of the Juang dance, the actions of these animals – pig and tortoise are
revealed. Just like this, in a Quail dance, the dancing girls squatted and pecked at the ground in the
fashionable format of those birds. In the Vulture style of Juang dance, we find a high dramatic show.

Here, the male assists the female. In this format, one of the man was made to lie on the ground and
represent a dead body. The dancing girls in approaching it imitiated the happing, sidling advance of
the bird of prey, and making their hands as beaks, nipped and pinched the represented deadbody that
make him temporarily forgetting his character. The representation of this vulture style makes both
the performers and the audience more pleasurable and amusing.

All the formats of Juang dance is accompanied with that specific instrument of tambourine with a
changing style.

REFERENCES:Various Sources

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