The Dhemali of Assam is not really a drum dance, but a preliminary (poorvaranga) of the traditional theatre known as Ankianat or Bhawana. Before the play begins the Dhemali is performed. There are various kinds of Dhemali. The Chabini Dhemali is a kind of drum dance, somewhat like Pung Cholam of Manipur, but having much subdued dancing. The drum played is called Khol and almost similar to the Pung of Manipur. When a large number of drummer-dancers, with all white dress, perform a Dhemali, especially in a moonlit night, it presents a sight that is as impressive as aesthetically satisfying.
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