Chang Folk Dance Group

Chang Folk Dance Group

Chang Dance is native to the Shekhawati Region of the state of Rajasthan and is a folk dance form performed and enjoyed at the level of the social collective such that it above any class or community divide. People from Rajputs, Meghwal, Brahmin, Khati, and Harijan communities freely participate in the celebration. Traditionally indulged in at the time of Holi- the Indian festival of colors, this dance is a more participatory festivity than a staged show. There is a wonderful informality about it as a group of young boys carrying the Chang come to dance and enjoy. Traditionally a male dancer dresses up to personify a female while the rest of the group dances around. Accompanied by folk songs that are inspired by the beginning of spring or Falgun and express the themes of devotion, love, marriage celebrations, and even alcohol consumption, the genre is set to the music of Chang, Bansuri (flute), Ghunghroo (ankle bells), Manjeera & Dholaki. Also referred to as the dhamaal- loosely translating to a group having a good time- Chang Nritya is popular in the Churu, Sikar, and Jhunjhunu regions of Rajasthan. The notes of the Bansuri bring to mind countryside music forms and to the Indian psyche are reminiscent of the love stories of Krishna playing the flute for his beloved Radha. A down-tempo rhythm pattern on Chang makes for a soft, soothing, and easy listening folk tune, which is an exception in the Indian festive music genre that is usually upbeat and fast in rhythm.