Garo dance of Meghalaya, Cheraw dance of Mizoram to be showcased in London

Shillong Apr 17: For the very first time, Garo dance of Meghalaya and Cheraw dance of Mizoram will be performed at the International Dance Day celebrations in London on April 27.

The programme this year is dedicated to highlight the empowerment of tribal communities of India. Women presenting these dances have been trained locally for the past few months. Apart from these dances, Siddi dance of Karnataka and Pawara Adivasi dance of Maharashtra will also be showcased.

Coordinators of this event, Ragasudha, who is herself a trained classical dancer and a Limca Book world record holder in dance, and Sushil Rapatwar expressed their happiness for creating awareness about a tiny portion of the vast tribal culture and heritage of India.

The event, organised at the Church of Scientology in London, also aims to highlight the initiatives taken to empower the tribal and forest dweller communities of India. They include MSP (Minimum Selling Price) for MFP (Minor Forest Produce), establishment of two central Tribal Universities in India, Tribal Research Centres and Centres of Excellence to preserve the uniqueness of tribal traditions including folklore, promoting the indigenous art forms such as tribal dances and paintings, running of Ekalavya Model Residential Schools, national fellowships and scholarships and national overseas scholarships through Ministry of Tribal Affairs for higher studies abroad, skills development programmes for tribal youth, Value Addition Centres for enabling their self-sustenance, Van Dhan and other welfare schemes.

Saora, Gond, Bhil, Pithora and Warli arts are a rich treasure and a substantial means of non-agricultural income for these tribal communities leading to their empowerment.

The indigenous tribal dance forms, especially from the North East are rarely seen in Britain.

“We are proud to be presenting a combination of dancing and development of tribal communities on this occasion. We have earlier presented in British Parliament Houses Baghurumba of Assam and Hojagiri of Tripura from North East, Lambadi, Mathuri and Gond dances of Telangana and also presented Saora dance at an event in Switzerland few months ago. There is so much scope to research and introduce the rich tribal art forms to the audiences here in the UK,” Ragasudha and Sushil Rapatwar said.