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Traditional Dance in South Asia

Dance and music are the oldest and most original art forms in the world and especially numerous and developed in South Asia. Thus the present-day practice of dance relates to the most ancient past; one could say that it is contemporary and traditional at the same time. Traditional dance is an integral part of the music culture in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) and exists in numerous incarnations.

  
Santali Village Dance in BangladeshDances from Western India
Santali Village Dance in Bangladesh                                                       Dances from Western India



Especially within the tribal and rural traditions, musical performances often feature specialised dancers and community dance. In nearly all tribal villages, men, women and children dance together on many occasions. As with singing and the playing of musical instruments here the average knowledge and skills are generally higher than in any other south Asian communities.
 
Even in rural and tribal villages one can observe that participation in dance has been declining due to the impact of the massive film industry and television. Therefore most of these sophisticated dance genres can be considered endangered and, if no further steps for protection are taken, will become extinct in the near future. Even the well-known art dances are neglected by audiences and funding bodies.

There are also positive developments such as the growing public interest in rural and tribal music and dance and an interaction of contemporary and traditional dancers and dance genres.


Traditional dance genres have  been given a forum in the following projects:




The Traditional Music & Dance of Nepal


LINK TO: ROLF's RESEARCH


Utsavam - Music from India - Exhibition & Events
(Horniman Museum, London)


LINK TO: UTSAVAM - MUSIC FROM INDIA EXHIBITION, HORNIMAN MUSEUM 


Dance films from: Utsavam - Music from India Exhibition can be seen in the video player below:




Indian Strings & Dances Exhibition and Events
(Museum of Croydon)


LINK TO: INDIAN STRINGS & DANCES EXHIBITION, MUSEUM of CROYDON 


Dance films from the Indian Strings & Dances Exhibtion can be seen in the video player below:


Research Collection for the:
Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix, Arizona, USA)



LINK TO: CONSULTING at the MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, PHOENIX, USA 



Dancing Fabrics & Images from India
(UK, Europe and India)

Exhibition in Preparation


Dance Costumes at the Indian Strings & Dances Exhibition - Museum of Croydon

Contact Rolf:   rolfkillius 'at' yahoo.com