Lankhon Phuza is another ritualistic dance performed by the Lalung tribe of the Nowgong district in Assam. ‘Lankhon’ means bamboo and Phuza means worship. The Lalung tribe worships bamboos for a bumper crop. In the flora of Assam, bamboo occupies a significant place. No wonder that for the Lalung tribe this tall and stout grass rising high into the sky is a symbol of divinity. This dance is performed well before the harvest around the month of November. In this dance twenty-one bamboo poles are beautifully decorated with a kind of straw. The dancers wearing their traditional dresses dance to the percussion music provided by cylindrical two face drums. The dancers rhythmically thrust the decorated bamboo poles up towards the sky. It appears as if they are transmitting their prayer for a bumper crop heavenward through the tall bamboo poles.
Ariba Pala is another unique form of dance prevalent in Manipur. Lai Haroba menioned above is quite ancient and reflects the Meitei culture that was much influenced by Tantrism. Ariba Pala evolved after Vaishnavism swayed the region around four centuries ago. Both vocal singing and the percussion music of the drum called Pung are the life and breath of Ariba Pala.
The group consists of 16 performers. They are divided into two subgroups. One is led by the main singer called Isei Hanba. The other is led by Dubar. The latter group answers the questions asked by the former group. There are two pung (drum) players whose role in the performance is quite important. The performance does not begin until the Mandava Mapu takes his specified seat. He is a very senior artist who has deep technical knowledge about Ariba Pala. He presides over the performance. As soon as he takes his seat the two drummers enter into the arena of performance. They play a few exquisite passages of percussion music. Then the two groups already seated inside the arena in a semi-circular manner, get up and the Isei Hanba begins the invocatory song. The performers imagine that they are in Nabadwip, the birth place of Shri Chaitanyadev, the great Vaishnava saint. It is his life that is depicted by the performers through superb singing, drumming, and dancing. The performance has very subdued elements of theater and it is so controlled and well-knit that it can easily vie with any classical style.
The Jhika-Dasain is a form of worship dance practiced by the Santal tribe to train young men of the community in the art of acquiring spiritual powers to dispel the influence of the evil spirits. The training lasts for several days but the occasion when the spiritual powers are attained is rejoiced with night long Lagren dance in which women also participate.
A few days before Dassera this dance is performed. It is prohibited to sing even any part of the songs accompanying the dance and to perform it after Dassera. There are five different kinds of dances which come under Jhika-Dasain. In every land the idiophone Jhika dominates, hence the name. The other musical instruments played with the dance are : Madar, a cylindrical drum, Nagade, a hemispherical single face drum, and Jhal, the cymbals. Musicians also wear straps of jingle bells as cross belt. The dance is performed before every house in the village and it is customary for the housewife to offer some grains to the dancers, which are finally sold for purchasing necessary materials for worshiping the goddess Manasa and the guru.
Tirayattam is a fascinating form of ritual dance of Kerala. According to local myths Bhagavati, the mother-goddess and Lord Shiva take various incarnations to terminate the demonic forces. The dancers impersonate the various incarnations of the god and goddess. When a dancer wears the complete highly stylized make-up and equally colorful costume, he is called by the generic name of kolam. Some of the Shaivite kolams are : Bhairavan, Ghantakaran, Kayatan, etc. Some of the Bhagavati kolams are : Bhadrakali, Bhairavi, Odakali, Rakteshvari, etc. Each important kolam is presented by in 3 stages of development. The childhood phase when presented by a kolam it is called Vellattam. The phase of old age is called Chantattam. The most important phase is the youth which is known as Tirayattam. Before the Tirayattam begins there is a musical prologue. The music of drums and cymbals which is played first is called Tayambaka. Next comes the Kuzhalpoot music of the reeled pipes after which the Tirayattam begins. It is a dance form which has powerful dramatic elements.
In the Union Territory of Mizoram the most popular dance is Cheraw. It is danced mainly by the girls of Mizo tribe. Although it is now performed at any rime, originally it was a ritual dance. It is inspired by a Mizo myth, according to which Pu Pawla is the custodian of paradise. When a child dies, the spirit proceed towards Pialral, the heavenly abode of the dead. The Cheraw dance is performed to propitiate the death of the child. The Mizos believe that if the dance is performed the spirit of the dead child will easily enter into the paradise without being harassed by Pu Pawla.