The Dancing Monks of Majuli

On Wednesday, 13th July, The Barn at Bury Court was thrilled to welcome The Monks of Majuli, who come from a beautifual monastery on the island of Majuli in the Brahmaputra River, N.E. India and worship Krishna through music and dance. For over 600 years, they have cultivated a form of dance-drama known as Sattriya that is still thriving today.

In 2000, the government of India recognized it as a ‘Classical Indian Dance Form’. Their vast repertoire includes drama, dance, song and a special form of choreographed yoga, they are a joy to watch!

The first ever tour of Sattriya in the UK was made possible by the generous support of both the UK and Indian governments. It was organized by Georgie Pope, the director of a specialized, music orientated, travel company called Sound Travels.

Georgie is doing a PhD on this little know sect of Vaishnavism (Krishna worship) and, with great success, has already taken the monks to Bhutan to perform at the Bhutan International Festival in Thimpu. Since 2008, they have also performed in France at various festivals. The performance at Bury Court was part of a UK wide tour that included appearances in London and Gateshead.

A dance workshop was also held in the afternoon and was a chance to learn some of the traditional preparatory yoga stances as well as some of the dance forms themselves with their accompanying rhythmic chants. This was the perfect opportunity to meet the monks and see the musical instruments up close.