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Dance Drama and Music of Uttar Pradesh

Music :
Uttar Pradesh was the land of the great sages and hermits and the singing of ancient hymns and mantras laid the basic tradition of music, which has blossomed into a musical tradition. The medieval age saw the emergence of two distinct strands of music. One was the court music that found patronage in the Courts like Agra , Fatehpur-Sikri , Lucknow , Jaunpur , Varanasi , Ayodhya , Banda and Datiya . The second was the religious tradition emerging from the Bhakti Cult rooted and flowered in centres like Mathura , Vrindavan and Ayodhya . Rulers and musicians from Uttar Pradesh contributed to the prosperity of Hindustani music.

Artistes of the stature of the shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan , Kathak wizard Birju Maharaj , tabla maestro Kishan Maharaj , the legendary Baba Allaudin Khan and his disciples Pt. Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan ; ghazal singers Begum Akhtar , Rasoolan Bai, Girija Devi and many more have lived and practised their art and craft here.

There are folk songs which add a native flavour to music of Uttar Pradesh. All regions have different kinds of folk songs. Some are listed below:

Kajali Mirzapur, Sonbhadra
Sohar Awadh
Nakata Awadh
Fag/ Fagua All UP
Jhoola Braj
Hori Braj
Rasiya Braj
Panwara Bundelkhand
Hardaul Patha Bundelkhand
Alha Bundelkhand
Isuri Fag Bundelkhand
Lavani Ruhelkhand
Bahatarbeel Ruhelkhand
Dhola West UP
Ragini West UP
Puran Bhagat All UP
Vairag/ Biraha All UP
Bhartrihari All UP
Nirgun All UP
Vivah Geet All UP
Purvi East UP
Chaita All UP

These songs are sung with native musical instruments Dhol, Nagara, Mridangam, Manjira, Harmonium, Kartal and Thali.

Dance :
Uttar Pradesh is the place where Kathak , one of the six foremost classical dances of India, flourished. The word Katha, from which the name is derived, means story. It originated in northern India, during the 7th century A.D. from expressions of temple priests while reciting hymns. Kathak has very intricate and complex movements of hands and feet along with facial expressions.The footwork is accompanied by the music of various percussion instruments such as tabla and pakhwaj , which are native to north India.

Other dance forms of Uttar Pradesh are largely folk traditions expressed in theatrical forms :

Ramlila is one such art form dealing with the life of Lord Rama and includes dance and theatre performance

Braj Raslila , which is associated with the life of the lover-God, Lord Krishna

Charkula is another folk dance of the state. The dance of Charkula involves a female dancer balancing a column of lighted deepakas over her head while dancing.

Rasiya describes the love of Radha and Shri Krishna. Charkula and Rasiya are native arts of the Braj region of the state.

Folk Dances of Uttar Pradesh

Folk Dance Region
Ras Nritya Braj
Jhoola Braj
Mayur Nritya Braj
Dhobiya Dance East UP
Kathghorawa East UP
Jogini All UP
Khyal Bundelkhand
Saira Bundelkhand

Drama of Uttar Pradesh :
Uttar Pradesh has a rich tradition of drama and has produced eminent dramatists. Some prominent drama forms are Ramlila, Puppetry, Nautanki, Swang, Bhagat, Swang Sapeda, Rawala etc. Gulabo Sitabo is the first Globs Puppet of state. Ramlila is organised in all Utta Pradesh but Allahabad Style of Ramlila is famous for its creativity and presentation. Raslila is performed in Braj Region. Kanpur and Hathras are famous for its Nautanki.

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Uttar Pradesh At a Glance
  • Population:3,676,841
  • Area :1,535 sq.kms
  • Geo Location:North
  • Average Climate:5°C - 20°C
  • Best time to visit:October - March
  • STD Code:0542

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