Dalkhai Folk Dance, Odisha

Odisha, earlier known as Orissa, is a state in India which is known to have a variety of rich culture and traditional dance forms. One of the major dance forms used across the state is Dalkhai. It is the most famous traditional Sambalpur tribe dance form which is located in the western Odisha. The Dalkhai dance form is performed in the major festivals celebrated in Odisha like Dusshera, Phagun Puni, Bhaijiuntia, Nuakhai and others.

The Dalkhai dance form is performed with traditional instruments playing folk music and is supposed to be performed by young teenagers. It is supposed to perform by unmarried women wearing traditional Sambalpur sarees in bright and vibrant colours. With ribbons or scarf tied around their shoulder, hands and legs, women perform the dance while wearing traditional jewellery like bangles, Jhumkas, necklace and many more. The dance formation starts with one single line where women perform a set of dance steps and later move into a circular position with the change in the flow of the music. The Dalkhai dance pace continuously increases and decreases throughout the performance, with the help of a dhol (a traditional instrument playing folk music).

The main theme of this dance form is Radha Krishna, Ramayana and Mahabharat; and the lyrics of the music mentions Dalkhai which means 'Girlfriend' in the native language. Women from different district across the state participate to perform this traditional dance form. And many villages come up with a contest to see who is going to perform the traditional dance form during the festivals.

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