Dubai: “Maa Samleswari Dance Group, Dubai”, a voluntary and hobby dance group, in Dubai has performed Sambalpuri dance recently at the backdrop of the iconic Tallest Tower of the World, Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This is inspired by a similar dance performance by a group of dancers in front of Eiffel Tower in Paris recently.
The folk dance is popularly known as Sambalpuri Dance and is a very ancient form of tribal dance in Western Odisha. Sambalpur in western Odisha has a distinct culture and identity in terms of language, dance, songs and clothing. This dance has been performed by various nationalities across the globe and it is no more confined to a region. The dance also has made an entry to Bollywood few years back in films like “Kaun Kitna Pani Main”.
It’s “Dhol” and “Nishan” beats are very unique and creates such a beautiful rhythm that easily mesmerizes the listener and one feels like dancing to the beautiful tunes. The dance is usually performed in groups by both men and women signifying its importance in bonding the entire community through this dance form. It is a very popular dance across Odisha that sees this performance in any cultural extravaganza in the state. Coupled with the rich and world famous Sambalpuri fabric that the dancers adorn during the dance, it attracts whoever comes across this dance. With this recent performance in Dubai it has made an entry in Gulf region and has gone truly global.
“The very purpose of this dance performed at Burj Khalifa is to promote this unique culture and this beautiful art form here in UAE” – the group opines. Burj Khalifa being a world famous architecture, these dancers have chosen to perform with this iconic tower in the backdrop. The group consists of a group of hobby dancers and facilitators who are voluntarily trying to promote this unique art form in their own way to make it popular and reach more audiences. Without any commercial gain or expectation, this group has the sole motto to enjoy and let people enjoy this dance.
The dance comprises of two popular folk songs “Dalkhai” and “Rangabati”. Dalkhai is a ritual folk dance. Songs sung on this occasion are known as Dalkhai songs. Young girls of Binjhals, Soura and Mirdha tribes perform this dance during Dusserah, Bhaijuntia and other festive occasions. However, non-tribal people also participate in this ritual dance and songs without hesitation which is an indicator of the tribal and non-tribal interaction in Western Odisha. The young girls stand in a line or in a semicircular pattern while dancing.
Rangabati is another popular number which has lasted for more than four decades now and still inspires awe even today. Originally sung by the legendary singer Jitendra Haripal, a Padmashree Awardee, and Krishna Patel in the year 1970 in All India Radio station, Sambalpur, it is synonymous with Sambalpuri dance. So popular is this song that it has not lost its sheen even after almost half a century from its birth, rather its popularity is increasing by the day far flung across the globe because of the efforts by Maa Samleswari Dance Group and other similar groups and individuals. The song also has inspired the famous Bollywood singer Sona Mohapatra to record a variant of this song in Coke Studio in 2015 that went viral in no time.
The group revealed that it was an unique experience to show case our culture in the world stage and have plans to create a Facebook page. The video of the performance is eagerly awaited by both the community in UAE as well as back home in India. The dance was choreographed by Surekha Meher who herself took part in the dance performance along with Chinmayi Behera, Bandita Nayak, Sephali Panigrahi, Trupti Badpanda, Amruta Das, Jagruti Herna and Sriyashree Nayak. The group has many future plans and owes all these to the blessings and wish of Maa Samleswari.