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Karma Dance is an important folk dance of Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh has a rich tradition of songs and dance. The tribal population of the state indulge themselves in a lot of traditional performances and enjoys their leisure time singing and dancing. The songs and dances form an important event of the number of fairs and festivals that are held in Madhya Pradesh. The performing arts of Madhya Pradesh are wholly traditional and are not influenced by outside traditions and cultures. They are authentic of the tribal tradition and culture of the people residing in the state. These performances still bear the charm and essence of the old tradition.

Karma dance is practiced by many aboriginal tribes like Gond tribe and Oraon tribe who mainly live in the north western part of Madhya Pradesh. These tribes also have their own form of dances many of which are not as primitive as are thought to be. Interestingly, Karma dance has many forms that are performed by many traditional tribes throughout India. In other parts of India it is also popularly known as Karma Naachis. It is performed by the tribes of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha and other regions of the country. It is performed during the autumnal festival of Karma Puja. The tribal group performs this folk dance in front of Karam tree that signifies the Karam Devta, the God of Fate. The tribes believe that worshipping Karam Devta brings prosperity.

It is performed in a group. Both male and female dancers participate in this dance. The dance is practiced around the trees set up in the villages. The dance is an amalgamation of various enthusiastic steps. The dancers make two rows facing each other. The male leap forward whereas the female bend low to the ground. Together they move their feet to and fro in a perfect rhythm.
Along with the dance, the musicians play a type of drum called a ‘timki' which they place on the ground between them. The dance is graceful to observe and is performed with measured steps. The dance usually continues all through the night and is watched by scores of spectators who gather from many miles to attend the occasion. While dancing, the performers of one row sing love-songs which are then repeated by the performers of other rows.

Karma Dance, Madhya Pradesh is mainly performed by the people who belong to the Gond tribe and Oraon tribe. These tribes reside in the north western part of Madhya Pradesh.. At the onset and the end of the rainy seasons the Karma Dance, Madhya Pradesh is performed. Although the full swing of the Karma Dance in Madhya Pradesh in India can be experienced in the month of August. The dance symbolizes the start of spring. The dance is mainly performed around the trees set in the villages.

Men and women both enthusiastically take part in this dance. The men and the women perform in various ways and the whole performance looks awesome. The men in the troupe leap forward whereas the women in the troupe bend low to the ground. The performers move their feet to and fro in perfect rhythm. Karma Dance of Madhya Pradesh is common to many ethnic groups of India. It is said that the Karma Dance, Madhya Pradesh is the oldest tribal dance among all tribal dances.

The instruments accompanied for the music during the Karma dance, Madhya Pradesh comprises of Thumki, the Payri, the Chhalla and Jhumki. There are many sub varieties of the Karma Dance which are as follows, The Sirki, the Jhumar, the Ghatwar, the Ektaria, the Pendehar, the Dohoari, the Lahaki and the Tegwani.This traditional dance is preformed specially during the Karma Festival held as per the Hindu month of Bhadrapada(August).

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