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Champa Devi (Fatima Rahim)

1923-2001

One of the pride of the local Indian population. 

 

She was one of the earliest and most popular of East Indian dancers whose major impact was the fact that many young dancers followed in her style of dancing. Her popularity served to raise interest in the art of East Indian dancing.

In the 1950's Alice Jan and Champa Devi were the most famous names in dance drama or film dance.

Instrumental music played on the dholak, dhantal, harmonium and later the sitar and the drumming and dancing involved various Hindu and Muslim festivals and religious rituals such as weddings.

The constant stream of popular Hindi films from India. The local classical Indian dance and music many whose proponents had training in India, sometimes under scholarships from the post-Independence government of India.

Popular East Indian music was not confined to domestic space with the advent of Mastana Bahar which started in August of 1970.

In the 1980's chutney came to be performed in public, sometimes with five thousand and more people present both men and women, and with many of the women dancing to music. Although public dancing by women was taboo despite the success of Champa Devi.