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A Narrative on the Framework of the Presence, Change, and Continuity of Indian Dance in Trinidad

Edited by Ravindra Nath “Raviji” Maharaj

in Making Caribbean Dance

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034676
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813046303 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813034676.003.0021
A Narrative on the Framework of the Presence, Change, and Continuity of Indian Dance in Trinidad

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Ravindra Nath Maharaj, known as Raviji, a leader in Hindu life in Trinidad and of a Ramdilla group, charts the history of the dance of Indians in Trinidad, which began with folk dances brought by indentured laborers for bhatwan (cooking nights for weddings), folk-dramas of Bhojpuri epics, and the still flourishing ten day Ramdilla folk theater re-enactments of the Ramayana. Other influences emerged--from Hindi film to the changing roles of women (and the emergence of Champa Devi, first queen of Indian dance in Trinidad), to the beginnings of teaching classical Indian dance, to the development of the hybrid form, chutney, adding many different forms and colors to Indo-Trinidadian dance. The Islamic festival of Hosay is sparked by the same tassa drums as Ramdilla.

Keywords: Ravindra Nath Maharaj; Raviji; Ramdilla; Indians in Trinidad; bhatwan; Bhojpuri folk-dramas; Champa Devi; Indo-Trinidadian chutney; Hosay; tassa drums

Chapter.  6196 words. 

Subjects: Dance

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