Sambalpuri dance is a famous western Oriya folk dance. Also known as Sculpture Oriya dance, the origin of Sambalpur dance is commonly referred to as the western part of Odisha. It is basically a tribal form of dance. This dance has a different cultural identity of its own. The Sambalpur dance was started by BalramDev, who was the king of Sambalpur during the middle of sixteenth century AD. This dance was generally practiced and performed under ‘simul’ or cotton tree. The famous book “Geographika”, describes the existence of Sambalpur dance in sixteenth-century. Sambalpur dance was practiced by many communities. It was familiar with fourteen communities -Brahmin, Karan, teli, gour, Guria, agarita, sunari, kurtas, kewat, dhobi, kuli, Bhandari, Kamar, and Ganda also. Over the centuries, after being performed by so many different communities, it has emerged as a unique dance form. It is performed on special occasions, fairs, and festival-like Sivaratri, Sitalsati, Naukhai, Mahulgundi, etc. It acts as a recreational and reformational activity among all. This dance is performed during the times of different ceremonies like marriages too. The most popular and exciting dance presentation of Sambalpur dance is in the form of Raserkeli, Dhalkei, Bayarman, ChutukuChutta, etc. These dance forms make the Sambalpur dance a memorable experience for the audience and performers.
Sambalpuri dance has also become popular with the Bollywood industry in the past few years. One can find the taste of this dance in the movie named “KaunKitnaPaani Mein”. The dance rhythm of dhol and Nishan are unique which inspires everyone to dance on the rhythm of the tune. Sambalpuri dance has also gained international recognition. It was performed in Dubai and has entered in the Gulf region. Sambalpuridance performed at “Burj Khalifa’ helped to promote the uniqueness of the culture.
It looks amazing when someone sees the performers performing this dance. It is mostly performed by women. They wear different ornaments and colorful dresses before performing this dance in order to show their happiness as well as their culture and excitement. They wear a red blouse and beautiful sarees along with different ornaments. The ornaments generally worn by the women include traditional bangles, armlets, bracelets, thread khagala upon her neck, pan petri and flowers on the head, earring, nose ring, and anklets and other jewelry. They apply ‘Alta’ around their feet which make their performance more lively. Male also perform this dance. They wear their traditional costumes -khadi cloth and Hawaii t-shirt along with a red towel tied around their waist and also different ornaments and colorful turbans with the feather of peacocks attached to them.
Over the period of time, many changes emerged in the Sambalpuri dance due to the climatic conditions, cultural diversity of the people living in Sambalpur and other factors. But it cannot be denied that the Sambalpuri dance is the pride of Orissa and it is also becoming popular around the globe. If you get a chance, do witness these dances once in your lifetime.