Folk Dance, Songs & Performing Arts of Bihar
Bidesia is a popular form of dance drama, originated in a twentieth century folk theatre and prevalent in the Bhojpuri-speaking region of Bihar. It is believed that the creator of this plays is Bhikari Thakur, a person barber by profession (from a backward class), left everything in affection of drama. His dramas are dealt with many social issues, contradictory topics & conflict between the traditional and the modern, the urban and rural, and the rich and the poor.
Not only hard hitting but delicate matters & emotional battles are also powered down in through Bidesia e.g. the emotions of birha or pangs of separation find expression in the Bidesia. Women left alone behind by their men who are away for earning bread & butter in the city, sing through these songs. The train, sometimes represented as the other woman, the weather, and the in-laws are all criticized in these songs.
The overall form of Bidesia has been made so effective through the medium of vibrant dances and evoking music and heart-touching stories that paints a realistic picture of olden days. In Bidesia, the female roles are played by the male actor-dancers. Normally, they wear dhoti or shirt trousers and for the appearance of long hair they use artificial means, in case of female roles.
Though there are many new means of communication & entertainment have developed, Bidesia remains the most popular and refreshing relaxation for the Bhojpuris.
In olden days, Bidesia was famous as it gave voice to many social concerned topics like the cause of poor laborers and tried to create awareness about the poor status of women in Bhojpuri society. Casteism and communalism are also handled with due care in the same cultural tunes. Sometimes, the tone of Bidesia is sarcastic in nature.
Bidesia plays and style of theatre is very popular for their rhythmic language, sweet songs and appealing music. These plays are a true reflection of Bhojpuri culture. Bhikari Thakur used satire and light-hearted comments to maximum effect to put forward his views on social ills and other problems plaguing Bhojpuri society.