Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
The morning after we arrived, the village gathered together to arrange a small celebration. After several cups of butter tea and sweet tea with biscuits everyone helped each other to dress up. The headdresses with real flowers, the heavy jewelry, the arrangement of the various layers of costume all takes time and cannot be accomplished alone.
Once everyone was ready, we moved to the little flat ground near the home of my host and the musicians began with specific pieces that are always played at the start of an event. The villagers all took their place in a circle and prepared to dance.
The dance is slow and primarily consists of rhythmic slow swaying to the music provided by drums and horns. Movements are graceful and minimal – probably on account of the high altitude and the heavy costumes.. Palm movements accentuated by holding scarves and flowers add variations to the uniform movements. All dancers also sing along with the music. Beats vary from song to song Ladakhi folk dance is known to be among the most complicated ones known and have been the subject of many doctoral theses.
And finally Video of the dance taken on my phone : video link on Youtube