Mostly connected to the spirituality of the Pirs and recluse, the Jalli is a special dance that is specially performed in the Khanqahs and Harems.  Mostly performed while one is sitting, many a times, the main performance of these songs is often surrounding the grave. This dance is also performed individually too. The dancers usually boast of tense toes. A thick hand is held by the performer who revolves them during the performance. Usually, the dancers wear a traditional black cloth. The customary scarf too is also black in color. Often, the Followers or the Murids don the traditional Ghunghroos which eco the ones wore by the traditional Kathak Dancers.

History of Jalli Dance

Although it is impossible to trace the actual origin and starting point of this dance form, one can only assume that the advent of the dance form originated when the religion of Islam and its spirituality settled itself in the state of Punjab. The converts and the Muslims then started merging their culture with the local one. The people later appointed leaders amongst themselves and they started passing this tradition from one generation to another.

Salient Features of Jalli Dance

The most important element in this dance from is the fact that it is performed when the dancer is sitting in the performance. This is perhaps the rarest feature in the dance as the basic body structure is stagnant while the rest of the body parts are swinging in ecstasy and swift motions. Many times, the leader who leads the dance is circled by the other people who continuously compliment the swinging of the dervish who controls the major dancing motions. Many a times, the leader is the lone person dancing whereas the other silently sit in awe of the spiritual performance in the Khanqahs of the saints.  For a lay man, who looks at the dance as a distinct and separate entity, the dance is about a group of dervishes swinging away while they don’t seem to move from the basic positions.

Performances in Dance

While the Jalli dance is performed, the usual dressing of the people on the dance is traditionally black.  Inconsiderate of the fact that the main performer is the Pir or the dervishes along with the Pir, the dressing of all the performers is black in color. In some instances, the dancers are also seen to be covering their faces with a scarf that is also black in color. The dancers particularly take care of the dresses which particularly adorn a special gear around the waist. These ringing bells are referred to as the ghungroos by the locals. Hence forth, they take the biggest stage in the dancing performance.  Having said that such a beautiful dance form in the heart of the state of Punjab is dying out slowly and it is only fair to assert that an extinction of such a dance form would only cast death to the existing heterogeneous culture of the state of Punjab and its culture.

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