Assam is a state in northeastern India, where it is known for Assam tea and Assam silk. Assam is the meeting ground of diverse cultures. The Assamese culture is a rich and exotic tapestry of all the races that evolved through a long assimilative process. The main dance form that took birth in Assam is “Satriya” which was created by a social reformer named Mohapurux Srimonto Sankadev to propagate his preachings of a monotheistic religion, an equal and class-free society. Until mid 20th Century, satriya was confined and evolved within monasteries called satras, institutions created by Sankadev’s disciples. The monasteries protected this sacred dance drama for over 500 years. The dance derives its name from the satras where. it continues to be performed as part of the religious practice by monks or devotees called bhokots. Female dancers .plays a significant role in portraying various roles to embrace the beauty of the dance form and its philosophy. A unique characteristic of Satriya dance is that it is a ” living ” art form that has not been ” revived”, but has continued since its creation to be performed in Satras for communal purposes. Satriya dance form is practiced by monks in the kirtan ghars of Assam.
Satriya Nritya is a genre of dance that tells mythical and religious tales through hand and facial expressions. The Satriya dance can be classified into 2 styles, namely ‘Paurashik Bhangi’ or Masculine style and stri Bhangi ie. Feminine style. ‘
The costume of the Satriya dance is primarily of 2 types. Dhoti and chadar and the pagri ( turban) are male costumes and the female costume comprises the Uhuru, chadar, and kanchi. The Musical Instrument khol is made of clay, wood, leather, rice dough, iron filings, and rope straps which produce a high pitch on the right side, while on the left side it produces a deep bass sound.