Indian villagers set world record for dance troupe

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The Independent Online

A troupe of 10,780 tribal villagers in India's northeast set a record Friday for the largest dance ensemble in the world with a carefully choreographed routine to welcome in the summer.

The dancers spread out over three kilometres (around two miles) to perform an eight-minute jig with bamboo sticks, setting a record at the expense of the previous holders - a 7,700-strong group in Cebu, in the Philippines.

"A new Guinness world record was created with 10,780 dancers performing the bamboo dance for eight minutes in perfect rhythm," a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records, Lucia Sinigagliesi, said after the event.

Sinigagliesi handed over a certificate to the arts and culture minister of the state of Mizoram, in India's far east, which borders Myanmar, where the dance took place to the sound of bamboo sticks being knocked together.

"We are delighted to create history," the minister, P.C. Zoramsangliana, told AFP in the capital, Aizawl, where the troupe in traditional tribal dress assembled at a military ground.

The bamboo dance, locally known as the Cheraw dance, is the harbinger of the Chapchar Kut festival of the Mizos tribal group, which marks the end of winter and advent of summer.

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