The Raja Murias living in the Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh perform the Parab dance after the harvesting of Khatif crops. It is also performed during the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra. A branch of th Semal tree is brought and planted at the central place of the village. Only unmarried boys and girls perform this dance round the Semal branch celebrating the harvest festival. Groups of dancers exchange visits and the dancing goes on throughout the night. The dancers wear clothes of bright colors and decorate themselves with laces and strands of cowries. While the percussion music is provided by a double faced drum, the melodic, by Mahuri, a reeded wind instrument like Shehnai.
Several Harvest dances are prevalent among the tribal communities of Madhya Pradesh. The Oraons perform Sarhul dance after the Kharif crops are harvested. Through the dance the gods are thanked for the crops and they are prayed to grant the community a happy life. On the full moon day of the lunar month of Chaitra, corresponding to March/April, this dance is performed after worshiping a Sal tree. This is the time when Sal trees blossom. There is a tribal myth associated with the worship of a Sal tree. The myth is as follows : Oppressed by a king of Bihar, the Oraon tribe fled to a Sal forest in Madhya Piadesh. The Sal trees not only gave them shelter but also necessary means for their living. Sal trees for the Oraons are symbols of protection. In gratitude, therefore, they worship a tall Sal tree every year and perform the Sarhul dance around it.
The entire village go near the selected Sal tree every year on the full moon day of Chaitra and in a ritual give it their offerings. Then men and women dance around the tree throughout the night. Often dancers from other villages are also invited to join the festivities. While dancing the dancers sing and musical accompaniment is provided by Mandar, a cylindrical drum with two faces, Nagara, a large hemispherical drum with one face, Jhanj, the cymbals, and Chatkola, a kind of castanets. The dancers are all in white. Men wear peacock feathers on their back side waist and women decorate their buns with white feathers or cranes and white flowers. The dance is usually in a fast tempo.
While Chilori is the dance of only girls, the Hiroria of Madhya Pradesh is a dance of men only. It is performed in the lunar month of Shravan, corresponding to July/August. It is also known as Dandaa-nritya, because the dancers hold batons in both their hands and while dancing in circular movement hit the batons held by the nearest dancer. It is some what similar to the Dandia Raas of Gujarat. The dancers make various kinds of choreographic patterns. Musical accompaniment is provided by Dhol and Timki, the drums, flute, cymbals, and Chitkora, a kind of castanets. Songs accompanying the dance is called hiroria-siring. When the rhythm changes, the choreographic pattern also change.
Another ceremonial dance of Madhya Pradesh is Chilori. It is a dance performed by girls of tribal communities and in the age group of twelve to sixteen. Usually, sixteen to twenty dancers participate in the dance. It is danced twice every year a fortnight before Diwali and Holi festivals. It is danced everyday till the day of the festival. There is a particular place called akhraa where the dance is performed. The dancers make a circle each holding other’s waist. While dancing the dancers sway alternately to the left and to the right. They wear flowers on the temples above the ears and tie jinglebells (ghungroos) on their ankles. They begin the dance in slower tempo which goes on increasing gradually. They sing while dancing and the songs are called chilori-siring. At the end of each line of the song the dancers take a jump and hit the ground hard with both the feet. No musical instrument is played with the dance. Only on very special occasions Dhol, the drum and Jhanj, the cymbals are played to provide the rhythm.
The Baredi dance is performed by the dancers of Aheer community of Madhya Pradesh. They are also called Yadavas. The dance is believed to have originated by Krishna who belonged to this community of cowherds. It is performed every year just the day after the Diwali festival and danced everyday for a fortnight, i.e. till the night of the full moon. On the first day, the deity called Dulhadev is worshipped. Then the senior most member of the group puts on the forehead of each dancer a dot of sandalwood paste mixed with turmeric. The dancers wear colorful costumes and decorate themselves with ornaments made of cowries. They first perform before Dulhadev and then go and dance before every household of the village. The songs that accompany the dance usually pray God to protect and increase the cows and to bestow prosperity on the community. The instrumental music is provided by drums called dhol and nagada and flutes. At times mridang is played instead of dbol.