Alkap (Bengali: আলকাপ) is a form of Bengali folk performance popular in the districts of Murshidabad, Malda and Birbhum in West Bengal and Chapai Nawabganj, Randajshahi 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. Again, one of the meanings of the word Aal is ‘sharp’. On the other hand, the word Kaap is one of the many meanings of ‘sam’ - a distorted form of gesture in the arena, or an image of a humorous comedian or social ugly subject.
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[check spelling], 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.
In popular cultureEdit
Syed Mustafa Siraj's Mayamrdanga novel is written about an Alkap team.