Maanch Dance of Madhya Pradesh

Maanch Dance of Madhya Pradesh: Maanch is a lyrical folk drama and a form of operatic ballet that is very popular in Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. Maanch has its beginning in the 17th century.It is believed that Guru Balmokand, who died quiet an early age, started modern Maanch, during a performance of Genda Pari ("The fairy of the Marigold Flower"). The language of the Maanch is traditionally Malwi, although, now Hindi is also being used in its performance. "Maanch" means the stage or place of performance and as an indigenous & distinct folk-form.
Maanch is performed in open space with barest of theatrical equipments, where the stage has a round shape and is never covered from any side; nor is a curtain used as a background. The stage is prepared from wooden poles and is used to provide the platform at a height of five to six feet or even more from the ground. The length of the stage is generally thirty feet while the width is about twenty feet. Generally, most actors in Maanch are from artisan classes like Goldsmiths, Tailors, Carpenters, Gardeners, and Coppersmiths. Only men can participate in this though there was one exemption has been eccentric woman, Babajan, who appeared in heroic roles, about 20 years ago and she had worn a turban and a loose-sleeved shirt.
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