Monday, October 27, 2008

Dance the night away

Naach your average dance
Patan, Nepal

Kartik Naach,
the Nepali annual dance cycle depicting scenes from Hindu mythology (but danced by Newar Buddhist dancers) begins Oct. 31st in Patan's Durbar Square.


Kartik Naach is an eight-day series of dance-dramas instituted several hundred years ago by King Siddhinarasimha Malla. Though Patan's population was primarily Buddhist, the Hindu king hired the Buddhist dancers to portray Hindu stories.

Especially popular is the final night, when the tale of Narasimha disembowelling Hiranyakashipu is re-enacted to what can only be called mass hysteria from the crowd. (I would imagine this scenario is especially prominent because it's the namesake of the originating King Siddhinarasimha.)

All dances are free and open to the public, and take place on the Kartik Dabali platform in front of the famous Patan Museum from about 7pm to 9pm.


Here is a photo from the 2006 Kartik Naach depicting Lakshmi and Brahma Padmanabhasana (seated on the lotus from Vishnu's navel!).

I wrote to my Newar Charya dance teacher Raju Sakya about the origins of Kartik Naach. Here is part of his answer;

The King is Siddhinarasingha Malla who instituted and started for 15 days and his son SriNivas Malla elaborate it with other opera and dances for 1 month.But today in this century only for 8 days and some of the dance and dance parts are already lost or dissapeared with modern age. We have to preserve it but it's already missing . Let's hope and try to do revise and research on it.

Happy Deepawali and Nepal Sambat 1129 \Mhapuja.May Mata Laxmi bless us.

6 comments:

Vinod_Sharma said...

Sirensongs, your blog is becoming a treasure of information. You should think of publishing a book. Happy Diwali.

Mridula said...

Happy Diwali Sirensongs.

Sirensongs said...

WOW! thanks to everyone. @Vinod: I have been "thinking about" publishing a book for a very long time...;-) just need to sit down in one place and do it! s

coupdecoeur said...

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sangesh said...

nice information on kartik naach
and your shots are nice
u can see some more pic on my blog if u had missed any
www.sangesh.com.np/blog