Traditional Music & Dance

Bilu Dance(Bamar)

The bilus (demons or ogres) are ancient characters, thought to originate from a legendary race that roamed India and Burma circa 2000 BC. Buddhist literature describes them as primitive and feared by other races.

     In literature, the Belus are described as having transmogrifying powers-an ability to take on different physical appearances. There are 24 different classical demon forms, each with its own name and role in stories and plays. One of the best known is Dasagiri, a demon in the Indian Ramayana epic.

     In any of his forms, the Belus embodies the Devil. He is terrifying, overbearing and diabolical by nature. But he has a gentle side also. In a typical dance, Dasa-Giri often offers a bouquet of flowers to a dainty damsel. The demure lady is unable to overlook the beastly side and declines his darling present. The demon then expresses his dejection at the refusal.