Updated: Jan 31, 2022
It is 26th January. India celebrates the Republic day every year on this day. It was the day the constitution came into effect in 1950. Every school, government organization, company, and housing society arranges a celebration. As I write this blog sitting in a different part of the world, millions in India attend the 26th January celebration, mostly virtually.
But going down memory lane, I remember how the preparation for the republic day would start weeks in advance. I would always participate in the dance performances for the day. Growing up in Maharashtra, our school would each year have Lezim dance that high schoolers performed. Even the music was played by the school kids in real-time. All the parents would also stay to watch this performance.
Lezim is a popular folk dance of Maharashtra. It gets its name from the sound instrument Lezim. It is made of bamboo sticks and has thin disks of metal (small cymbals). These disks make a jingling sound. The musical companion of Lezhim is Dhol.
The performers typically wear costumes in white and saffron with a band around their forehead. The dancers perform synchronized orchestrated moves to carve out many formations in the space. This art form is widely used as a fitness drill by the schools of Maharashtra and comes under the calisthenic workout category as it involves only body weight.
The following video on youtube highlights the details and also educates viewers on how to perform Lezim.
Lezim performances are largely seen during Ganesh Festival ceremonies in Maharashtra. With the migration of people from the Maharashtra region, Lezhim is often seen being performed at cultural gatherings and festival celebrations around the world.
Here is a video snippet of Nrityavana’s team performing Lezhim at the Maharashtra Mandal’s Ganesh Festival
I would love to hear from the readers if dances were performed in your school for celebrations and which were those?