Veeragase Folk Dance, Karnataka

Veeragase is a traditional dance form; the origin of the dance form is from Karnataka, a state in India. The whole dance performance is based on the theme of Hindu mythology and is considered as an intense traditional dance form in southern India. It is mostly performed during festival season, especially during Duserra and even during the Shravana and Karthika 'Masas' (months).

The Veeragase traditional dance form has some rules which also includes that this dance form should only be performed by the Jangama people from the Veerashaiva or Lingayat clan/community, who are also known as the Maheshwaras. Since this dance performance is considered as a holy dance form, the jewellery used during the performance is Rudraksha beads for necklace, belts and as bangles. While wearing Vibhooti and snake resembling dress they dance with a sword and wooden plaque of Lord Veerabhadra.

Earlier male performers were allowed to do the traditional dance form, as the community changed even female artists started performing the traditional dance form. There is only even number of members while performing Veeragase dance form, i.e. either 2, 4 or 6. And a person is appointed to narrate each dance step and the story behind it, the story of Daksha Yajna. Traditional instruments are used for the music behind the performance and people who are performing pierce the needle through their mouth as being part of the ritual. The Veeragase dance performance is based in ritual and Puranas, hence it is performed across Karnataka with much grandeur and vigour.

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