A traditional Pakistani and Indian dance called mujra.
Mujra is one of the most important traditional dances of Pakistan and India. Mujra is said to be derived from the word Morris, meaning “the art of storytelling.” The Mujra dance form originated in north Pakistan and India and was very similar to the Brat dance form. In ancient Pakistan and India, there were Mujra or bards who used to entertain private parties and mythological tales to the accompaniment music, mime and dance.
Under the influence of Persian and Muslim traditions Mujra dance assumed the form of courtly entertainment. Under the patronage of medieval rulers and Nibs a class of dancing girls and courtesans emerged to entertain the palaces and courts. Medieval traditions imparted Mujra a distinct Hindu texture. Thus, with the passage of time Mujra went on changing its form and character. This change was also reflected in the dress of Mujra dance.
During the nineteenth century Mujra enjoyed a revival and gained prominence among the kings and feudal lords not only as a form of entertainment but also as a traditional art form. Slowly and gradually family’s or schools of Mujra emerged. The Jaipur family of Mujra emphasized technical mastery of pure dance. In the court of Heera Mandi which is also called red street of Lahore, the Land lord of Indian state (a student of Mujra), Mujra dance emphasized dramatic and sensuous expression and developed into a distinct style called the Lucknow family. This family is said to have originated with Khushbu court dancer Saima Khan.
Mujra dances are performed straight-legged and the ankle bells worn by the dancers are skillfully controlled. In Mujra dance the emphasis is more on footwork as against Hasty Madras or hand formations in Bharatnatyam dance. Mujra dance can be performed by both men and women. A Mujra dancer is not required strictly to stick to fixed steps and stages in. He or she can change the sequence of steps to suit his or her skill and style of dancing. Modern exponents of Mujra dance are Pakistani hot actresses.