Gaur Dance, also known as Bison Dance, is one of the most popular dance forms of Madhya Pradesh. The dance is mainly performed by the Bison Horn Marias of South Bastar. This spectacular dance symbolizes the hunting spirit of the tribe.
Gaur Dance is named after 'Gaur', a ferocious bison. The invitation for a dance is given by the sounding of a bamboo trumpet or a horn.
In this dance form male performers attack each other and chase the female dancers. The dance steps are similar to the movements of a bison. Male performers wear head-dresses frilled with stringed 'cowries' and plumes of peacock feathers. They usually carry flutes and drums to the dancing ground. Women dancers, embellished in brass fillets and bead necklaces over their tattooed bodies, later joins the male performers. They enter the dance ground carrying dancing sticks called Tirududi in their right hands.
Gaur dance is a popular folk dance of Madhya Pradesh and is popular in the Sing Marias or Tallaguda Marias of South Bastar. It involves men wearing head-dresses, with stringed 'cowries' and plumes of peacock feathers, making their way to the dancing ground. They beat the drums, tossing the horns and feathers of their head-gears to the rising tempo, which gives a wilder touch to the dance. Women, ornamented with brass fillets and bead necklaces around their tattooed bodies, also join the gathering.
Dances are always seen having some or the other link to culture. As a custom gaur dance is performed during the gangore puja.The young girls pray to god with full honesty and faith asking for a handsome and a wonderful husband. The married ladies are not to be left behind as they are seen praying to god for the long life of their husbands and for good understanding ahead.During the prayer ceremony the dances are performed by the small girls, young girls ad ladies and it is known as Gaur dance. This custom is also practiced by the local tribals.
The most popular among the Madhya Pradesh dances, is the Gaur dance of the Sing Marias or Tallaguda Marias (bison-horn Marias) of South Bastar. This spectacular dance symbolizes the hunting spirit of the tribe. The men folk with flutes and drums make their way to the dancing ground. Women adorned with brass fillets and bead necklaces over their tattooed bodies soon join the assemblage. They carry dancing sticks called Tirududi in their right hands and tap them to conform with the drum-beats. They dance in their own groups by the side of the male members. But they also take the liberty to cross and re-cross in between the groups of male dancers and drummers. Their jingling anklets correspond to the songs of their lips as they move. The men beat the drums, tossing the horns and feathers of their head-gears to the rising tempo that gives the dance a wilder touch.
The customs and the culture sometimes varies from village to village.It is noticed in some villages that the locals install idols of Lord Shiva at home or they visit the shiv temples and women dance around it. During Baisakh Sudi Purnima the gaur puja is organized . Men and women tap on the beats of dhol and the exciting songs of gaur. Laied keep jawar on their heads and wear the ghungaroo bracelates on their hands.Men shudder themselves on the hard dhol beats.Dhol in this dance is regarded as the back bone of this dance as the beats coming out of dhol shapes up the beauty of the dance. It is according to every beat of the dhol the dancer takes his or her steps. Dancers are seen dancing bare feet even in the hottest months.
Male performers beat the drums, tossing the horns and the feathers of their head-gears to the rising tempo thus giving the dance a wilder touch.The men with drums usually move in a circle and create a variety of dancing patterns when they are spirited. In the bison dance (Gaur) they attack one another and chase the female dancers. The Marias imitate a number of bison movements. Most of them perform like frisky bulls, hurling wisps of grass into air, charging and tossing horns.
Many a times the idol of Gaur is kept at the centre place where the dance or salsa is to be performed. A wooden swor is placed near the idol of Gaur..Many songs are sung during the dance and the atmosphere very pleasant-sounding during the emersion of idol.