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Region: Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
Famous Dances: Jabro Dance, Drugpa-Rches

Jabro is a community dance of the nomadic people of Tibetan origin living in the high hills of the Changtheng area of Ladakh . Performed by men & Women at all festive occasions, this dance is an integral part of the Losar celebrations, which is the Tibetan New Year Festival. The melodious Jabro songs are sung to the musical accompaniment of 'Damian' - a guitar like stringed instrument and the flute.

Drugpa-Rches dance is performed by the Dards, the people of Aryan origin, settled in the Drass and Gorkhan areas of Ladakh. These settlers are known as "Drugpas", meaning the nomads. They are usually vegetarian people and their festive costume decorations usually include the ever blooming flowers alongwith other silver ornaments. A big drum, 'Damman' and 'Surna' are played as musical accompaniments with their dance.

The best dances in Ladakh are performed by the Lamas and monks in the monasteries. These performances have celestial and spiritual aura around them and involve many Tantrik practices. The dances are performed with great festivity and elaborate decor, particularly at Losar - the New Year festival. The theme of these dances is invariably the struggle between the good and the evil. Characterized by the masks lamas.


YAK DANCE: The theme of this unique and amazing dance is that two men donning the skins of the Yak, dance with gentle and rhythmic movements. The Yak sits, jumps, turns over and runs in a circle but all the actions are perfectly synchronized. A milkmaid comes and she is ignored by the Yak, and then comes the milkman striking the lash. He controls the Yak and takes it away.

TUKHATANMO: In the Zanskar and Bakhamul area, the seasonal dance Tukhstanmo is performed. It is a flower dance and is quite popular in the Nubra valley areas too. When new blossoms come, the blooming flower bunches are offered to the deity accompanied with songs and dance.
A marriage dance in the moonscape fastnesses of Ladakh - Jammu & Kashmir
BAGSTONRCHES: The Ladakhi marriage dance Bagstonrches continues for weeks during the marriage ceremonies. The bride and bridegroom also join in this dance event. The wedding dances are usually performed in tune with the songs, accompanied by the harmonious tunes of Surna and Damman musical instruments, which are played with these dances.

Shon Dance: The Shon dance once had royal patronage and was performed in the places on every festive occasion. The various songs in the dance add music richness to it. It is the dance of 'Mons' and is now performed only in the remote parts of Ladakh.

The Surahi Dance: The Surahi dance - "Chang Rches" is almost extinct now. In this dance the dancers used to carry pots of Chang - the local brew, on their heads and danced.

The Koshan Dance: The Koshan dance is popular dance performed in Leh . A peculiarity about this dance is that it is performed while riding horses and the leader of the horsemen is called "Landak".

Ladhakhi Dances are very colorful and majestic. The slow and gentle movements of these dances are very well complemented by the richness of jeweled 'Peraks', Silver ornaments and rich music.

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