Alkap (Bengali: আলকাপ) is a form of Bengali folk performance popular in the districts of Murshidabad, Malda and Birbhum in West Bengal and Rajshahi in Bangladesh. It has also spread to the adjoining areas of Jharkhand and Bihar such as Dumka and Purnia.
Kaap means ‘kavya’ (verse) and Aal is part of the verse.
Alkap is an amalgamation of music, dance and theatrical presentation. An alkap group of ten to twelve performers is led by a sarkar (master) or guru (leader) and includes two or three young men called chhokras, one or two gayens or singers, dohar, choristers, and musicians. Alkap is presented in five parts: Asar Vandana, Chhora, Kaap, Baithaki Gaan and Khemta Pala. The programme is a reflection of rural society and puts the focus on the prevailing socio-economic condition of the rural masses.
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