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Kathi Nacha

Kathi Nacha

Kathi Nacha of Orissa is practiced by the cowherd community of the coastal districts. Although this form of dance is practiced all over the country, what marks the stick dances of Orissa apart from those of other regions is the size of the stick. In Orissa based on the size if the sticks on which the dance is performed, there are two forms of the dance which are prevalent. Dance on the long sticks and the other with short sticks are accordingly performed in different occasions. Kathi Nach on long sticks is performed by the cowherd community of coastal Orissa. Dusserah, Giri Gobardhan Puja and Dol Yatra (Holi) are the important festivals on the occasion of which the dance is performed by the young boys. They weave out different geometrical patterns with simultaneous tapping of sticks and singing of traditional songs relating to the sports of Lord Krishna.

The other type with smaller sticks is performed by the people of the scheduled class of Mayurbhanj and Bolangir. In this, the sticks are about two feet in length and are made of resonant wood to produce percussion. The sticks are held on pairs. The dancers in this folk dance of Orissa are all young boys who stand in a line. The dance begins as the boys begin striking each other sticks  to the rhythm of the madal. Two or more singers and drummers move with the dancers. Following the rhythm of the madal, they increase the speed of various movements until the dance ends in a crescendo of sound produced by the sharp taps of the sticks. Makar Sankranti and Nua Khai festivals are the occasions for this dance. In the district of Bolangir, this is known as Kalanga when the dancers wear costumes like the Karma dancers of the Binjhala .

 

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