Mask dance, an ancient world famous dance form, is performed in different ways and is present in all countries of the world. In the religious rituals of the primitive tribes, dances were performed wearing the masks of deities. It was not just a form of Ranjana, but the tribal belief that God appears there in the form of a dancer.
History of Mask Dance
Pictures of masked dancers are found on the walls of ancient Paleolithic caves in Western Europe. For example, the figure of a dancer found in the Magdalenian (15000 BC) caves in southern France, Troy Frere, is shown with her head covered with deer skull and her body covered with deer skin. Indian tribes in New Mexico and Arizona still have a masked dancer named ‘Kachina’, resembling this ancient dancer, wearing deer horns and skin. Remaining images of masked dancers can be found in the Mig Cave in France.
The cave paintings suggest that the dance may have originated in the early days of mankind’s tendency to disguise the surrounding living creatures with the help of masks and costumes. Dances were also performed wearing animal and human masks. Imaginary demonic or satanic intriguing masks may have been created during the Neolithic Age (8000 BC). Etc. in ancient Egypt. S. E. Wearing masks in religious dances around 1500.
In Greece, Vimukta dance was performed during the autumn season of grapes in honor of the god Dionysus. In it, a woman named ‘Menad’ danced while the deity was transmitted to her body and then men wore masks and danced. A mourning ceremony is held every year in New Ireland. In it the dancers wear the masks of some dead persons. It is believed that the soul of the dead comes in that ritual.
The practice of using masks in dance is universal and timeless. In Tibet and China, Devadika masks were used in folk dances performed during religious festivals. Masks were also used in the ancient dance drama ‘Khon’ in Thailand. His Kathakali was similar to dance.
The dance called ‘Masquerade’ was especially popular in western society. Masquerade is a dance performed with colorful masks and costumes. Dances like masquerades or carnivals are a fun way to trick people into wearing fake costumes just for fun. It must have been the evolutionary stage of the masks used in primitive religious rites.
The mascara dance form usually uses ‘domino’ or half masks. They cover the upper part of the face and keep the lower part of the mouth open. During the Enlightenment, a form of masquerade was performed in Italy. From that, these semicircles developed. They were mostly black but seldom painted. They are made of velvet or silk or paper mattress so that they fit snugly on the forehead, nose and cheeks. During the Prabodhan period, masks were danced to the beat of musical instruments in the Sardar family. Men and women take part in them. Among them, the dance ‘Trionfi’ was famous.
The practice of using masks in Belly dance was also particularly popular from the beginning. Belly dance originated from royal dances around the fifteenth century. Belly was a spectacular form of entertainment during this period, and in England the ‘Morris’ was a remnant of the popular mask-dance primitive dance. The dancers wore different costumes and tied curls around their feet. They also wore animal masks. W. T. The masks made by the band for the masquerade were specially used by the dancer Margaret Severn. Pablo Picasso and Ferna Laze designed solid masks for the Belly in Paris.