Saila Dance Festival
Young boys of the plains of Chhattisgarh bring life to the post-harvest time by the Saila dance. Saila is a stick-dance and is popular among the people of
Sarguja, Chhindwara and Baitul districts. But in these places, Saila is known by
Danda Nach or Dandar Pate. The Saila often comes out with many variations and much buffoonery.
The climax of a day's Saila, is the great Snake Dance. The Saila songs, of which the refrain is the monotonous Nanare nana are regularly of a progressive character leading to a extremely vulgar conclusion.
Saila comprises over half a dozen varieties. Some of them are named as the Baithiki Saila, the
Artari Saila, the Thadi Saila, the Chamka
Kunda Saila, the Chakramar Saila (lizard's
dance) and the Shikari Saila.
Each variation has a certain theme and typical feature of its own. Saila's simple form
is the Dasera dance which is always performed by the Baigas before
Diwali. Some of the post-harvest dances reach the climax towards the festivities of
The Diwali dances of the Ahirs and Rawats of Bilaspur and Raipur districts of the state have enough of vital appeal. Wearing tight-fitting shirts, studded with
ghungrus or tiny bells and armlets of ghungurs, the Ahir dancers vigorously perform the