Most of the dances of Mizoram are performed during the time of festival. Generally, these folk dances are group dances. Cheraw dance is most popularly known as `Bamboo dance`. Bamboos are used in the performance of the dance, from which the dance is named so. Both men and women come together & perform the bamboo dance of Mizoram.
While the men hold the bamboos, the women folk dance between the bamboos.
In the performance, the dancer moves by stepping alternatively in and out from between and across a pair of horizontal bamboos. People mostly sitting in facing to either side hold these bamboos against the ground. People in a sitting position, tap the bamboos, open and close it as per the rhythmic beats. Two bases support the bamboos that are placed horizontally, one at each end. The movements created by bamboos at the time of clapping produce a sharp sound. This particular sound forms the rhythm of the dance. It also indicates the timing for the dancing steps as well. The dancers perform various attractive steps in and out on the beats of the bamboos. Generally, the patterns and stepping of the dance have many variations that are very much graceful. Sometimes the stepping are made in imitation of the movements of birds, sometimes to show the swaying of trees, and it goes on.
An individual family performs Cheraw dance on the occasion of `Buhza Aih` that is the bumper harvest. Basically, it is not a community dance but a dance performed by a few selected girls having extraordinary skills. It is also performed in marriage ceremonies and on the time of merry-makings to celebrate success. At the time of such occasions, large number of people gathers to watch the proud performance of `Cheraw` dance by the few skillful dancers. It is generally performed on moonlit nights that adds a glory to it. At the time of performance, the sound of the bamboo hitting each other is the rhythm for the dance. But even if a rhythm is missed, the experienced dancers perform various steps with grace and care.
The cheerful mood of the Mizos & enthusiasm of them are truly expressed through their dances. The drum and the gong are two traditional musical instruments of the Mizos. Bamboo Dance is considered as the most colourful and distinct dance of the Mizos.