Photographer's Note

Dhunuchi Naach - the dance with effervescent smoke

India is known for her diverse traditions and this diverse tradition is the origin of the folk art. Folk Dances are based on religious and festive occasions. They reflect the basics of life. Folk dances are aimed at providing entertainment and which involves group participation. The dances are very rhythmic and the lyrics and music have the typical overtone of the specific locality or festival.

'Dhunuchi nritya' or ‘the dance with effervescent smoke' is a traditional dance form Bengal,
which is performed in front of the idol of the Goddess Durga to the sound of dhak, the traditional drums.

In the evenings, an elaborate aarati is performed. After the aarati, young men perform Dhunuchi Naach (Dhunuchi Dance) before the Goddess Durga.

A dhunuchi is an earthen pot with a funnel base and an open top. Burning coconut shells is put inside and then powdered incense, known as Dhuno, is poured over it to create the atmosphere. A sweet smelling thick white smoke spreads and engulfs your senses. Then with the Dhakis and their drum beats, the Dhunuchi dancers balance the earthen pots, with the base delicately placed on their palms, between their teeth or on foreheads. Then they gyrate their bodies to the drum beats with the burning Dhunuchis. The deep percussion of the dhak, embellished sometimes with long white or multi-coloured feathers, and rhythmic movement of the dhakis, is inseparable part of the Durga Puja celebrations.

For some more reference go here.

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Additional Photos by Kausik Das (kaud) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 360 W: 58 N: 439] (1840)
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