At a Glance :
Region : Assam
Relevance : Dance form inspired from the Sankardeva
Assam state has preserved their traditional cultural dance from millions of year; and still their latest generation is following it with huge enthusiasm and willingness. As per the other states of India, Assam also has big list of various dance forms; that’s why they have made two different separate categories such as folk and classical dance. Ankiya Nat is classical dance form, which was practiced within the Satra & Namghars villages; and they have stored this traditionally essential form. It is a more of drama form; the origin of this dance was happened in 1449 year. Ankiya Nat dance is very much famous within the Assam's regional people. Majorly, this is one drama, in which numbers of dancers join and give response to only single performer in so many. Sutradhara is one of the major character of Ankiya Nat dance form that play a very essential role in the whole act. The moment singing, slokas and dance performances get start, he begins to explain every act of a play. Ankiya Nat is a complete blend of words and music, these scatter from the small descriptive and dialogue of the Sutradhara on every time.
The dancers of this Ankiya Nat classical form wear the goddess, god, animals and demon's huge masks. To perform the play, they use big size masks, few times the length of the masks is so long that they reach till the waist of the dancer. The height of few masks is around fifteen feet; this type of attire gives a broader look to the entire theater performance. In Ankiya Nat dance, the dancers have to do correct dancing moments with their masks, from the time they have been worn the mask, the complete weight of the mask's get s on the shoulders of artist. The various masks of Ankiya Nat include the very skinny fabric on the front side of the mask, so that artists will get visibility. Because of the high weight and motionless nature of masks, dancers of Ankiya Nat display the characters, which are prohibited from snakes and demons with few dancing movements.
On the begging of the performance, the dancer enters on the beat of drums, through the lights of archway, it is called as agni gad. Generally, this agni gad is always placed on the stage's opposite side. As per the narrator, pre dance follows the recital. Fro the starting point of the play, he prays to Lord Krishna and after that the song of play gets start. With the performance of the Lord Krishna, the real performance of Ankiya Nat starts. Till the temple, it is a solo dance and it is a major attractive feature of this drama. The narrator of drama keeps on moving in between the act and also the out side area of act to make the performance very much interesting and exciting. The basic concept of the drama is always inspired from the Lord Krishan's life stories; the performers give the liveliness to the story. Traditional classical dance form is majorly performed on the Janamshtami (Lord Krishna's birthday) it is a unforgettable day for Sage Sankaradeva.