5 Different Types of Cham Dances – A Colorful & Vibrant Tradition in Bhutan
Bhutan is a country of various religious beliefs that have been successfully preserves their local cultural heritage, norms, and history appropriately. The government makes their best efforts of making Bhutan a better place to live as well as to preserve the culture and history. Bhutan celebrates a large number of festivals and hence, countless events and occasions are held around the year, among which many are related to religions and beliefs. Bhutanese usually expresses their festive mood in the form of variety of colorful dances. Dances in Bhutan, like every country in the world, have its unique forms and styles which define its culture as well as its tradition which will blow your mind.
Cham Dance- Traditional Dance of Bhutan:
Cham Dance is the traditional dance of Bhutan which involves a series of masked dances and is usually performed by monks wearing colorful costumes. The dances depict the life of Padmasambhava, the major Buddhist Guru who introduced Buddhism in Bhutan in the 8th Century. These types of dances are usually performed during the annual Bhutanese festival. One person, who is actually the leader of the group, plays an instrument called the cymbal. This keeps track of the time and makes the performance more musical.
Here we have mentioned the different types of Cham Dance:
1. Joenpa Legsoce:
The name of Joenpa Legsoce literally means “welcome”. This welcome dance is known to bless the audience and the entire ceremony with luck and charm. The highlights of this dance-
- During this dance, men and women carry the traditional attire.
- Men wear “Gho” and their shoes are called “tsholham”.
- Women wear “Kira”, “tego” and “wonju”.
The dance style catches everyone’s attention and gets appreciation from all the locals as well as tourists from all around the world. Watching people live dance performance will give you an ultimate heartwarming experience.
2. Drametse Nga Cham:
It is the most popular mask dance in Bhutan. The name of it means “mask dance of the drums from Drametse”. This dance got its name from the fact that it originated from Drametse, a small village in Eastern Bhutan and the dancers perform wearing masks and drums. The highlights of this dance-
- Drametse Festival is held2 times a year.
- It has a team of 16 male dancers and 10 musicians,
- The dancers wear silk robes and wooden masks of animals faces
- Musicians play “dung” (which means trumpets), “rim” (which means cymbals) and “Nga” (which means drum).
- Nga is played in three different techniques such as bang Nga, lag Nga, Nga Chen
These background sounds and the dance together makes for a very fascinating performance. This dance has become a huge part of Bhutan’s culture and tradition.
3. Pa Cham:
It is another type of Cham dance of Bhutan which is being performed wearing colorful silk robes and a fancy crown on dancers’ heads. Pa Cham draws the attention of many locals as well as the outsiders as it is performed in the memory of Guru Rinpoche. The highlights of this dance-
- Dancers carry a small cylindrical hand drum while dancing.
- The dance of Powas (meaning heroes) and Pams (meaning heroines).
Zhungdra, known as the royal dance of Bhutan is a very slow and composed dance form, which is performed in the courtrooms, Dzongs, and monasteries. This dance is believed to be one of the oldest dances in Bhutan, originating from the early Buddhist saints. The highlights of this dance-
- It is performed by only women, who stand in a row and wear the traditional attire.
- They also carry a hand-woven scarf and dance together in a perfect rhythm.
- The dance is very religious and the hand movements are very clear and slow.
Another royal courtroom dance of Bhutan, Boedra is a type of Cham Dance which was initially just a song performance. The dance steps were introduced in this type of performance much later. The highlights of this dance-
- Performed by a group of men and women, who stand together to form a circle.
- The dance moves are in accordance with the music of the song, and hence it does not have any fixed steps.
- The best part about this dance is that the audience does not know which step they are going to see next.
Get in touch with the reliable travel agency for your organized Cham Dances tour-
If you want to explore all types of Cham Dances along with exploring sightseeing places in Bhutan, you should hire a travel agency for your organized trip. Bhutan Packages will give you the opportunity to enjoy all types of dances at a budget-friendly rate. So make us your first choice for your most convenient as well as enjoyable Cham Dances tour in Bhutan with your family/ friends or with the better half and get an unforgettable experience.
When in Bhutan, do explore the famous Cham Dance-
Bhutan is just not about exploring sightseeing places but also presents as a hub for numerous festival’s dances which define its local culture & traditions. The dancers do not just perform to entertain the audience or to win an award, but they do it with all of their heart. Each dance form requires a meticulous effort. The dancers do not just perform to entertain the audience or to win an award, but they do it with all of their heart. Each dance form requires a meticulous effort and complete faith. So what are you waiting for! Just pack your bag and get ready to explore the culture of Bhutan.