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Art and Craft

Indian Art and Craft – Bidesiya Dance (Play)

Indian Art and Craft – Bidesiya Dance (Play)

Bidesiya or Bidesia is a very popular folk dance form and Bhojpuri play of Bihar, known for its unique theme. It talks about various social issues, conflicting traditional and modern life style and other contradictory topics in a sense of satire and with light-hearted comments.

The History says that Bidesiya dance was initially created by Bhikari Thakur who was a barber by profession. He was a famous play writer and artist of his time and was referred to as the “Shakespeare of Bhojpuri”. It is one of the several plays written by Bhikari Thakur on women empowerment, migration and poverty. It has become the folk theatre style of Bhojpuri region due to its popularity.

The play starts with prayer and introduction of the characters and storyline of the play.

Typical Story of the play

The play starts with conversation between Bidesiya (the main character) or Bidesi and the character Pyari Sundari (Bidesiya’s wife). Bidesiya, living in poverty, wants to go to Calcutta for earning but his wife does not accept it and Bidesiya goes against her wish to remain there. He does not come back even after a long time. He gets married to a lady named Saloni there and lives with her.

One day, Pyari Sundari finds a traveler Batohiya who was going through the village. She asks him about Bidesiya and wants to convey a message to him that she is eagerly waiting for Bidesiya’s return.

Batohia, when he reached Calcutta, searches for Bidesia and finally finds him. He explains Pyari Sundari’s condition and Bidesiya then realizes his mistake and returns home even though Saloni asks him not to go. Reaching his home, he knocks on the door and Pyari Sundari opens the door with fear, not knowing who it was outside. Scared Pyari Sundari asks him who he was and he replies that it is her husband Bidesiya. On seeing him in front of her after a long time, poor Pyari Sundari fell unconscious.

At the same time, Saloni also accompanies Bidesiya without his knowledge and reaches his home. She tells him that she cannot live without him. Finally Pyari Sundari accepts her as her Sautan.

The story is depicted and enacted in a very entertaining form with humor and meaningful words. The songs in the dance drama tells us about the struggles of the women who were left behind in the village by their husbands. Sometimes even the in-laws are criticized in these songs, as they make lives of these women miserable. One of the very interesting fact about Bidesia dance is, the female roles are enacted by the male actor/dancers. When it comes to the costumes, the male actors tend to use artificial long hairs in order to get an appearance of a female.

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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