Swang is a kind of song-drama, popular in Haryana and Punjab. Ali Baksh - the father of folk theater in Haryana - is believed to have developed this drama. Swang has been derived from the word 'sang', meaning 'disguise' or 'imitation'. It is based on the episodes from the lives of the famous heroes such as Harischandra, Puran Bhagat and Gopi Chand. Performed by professional ballad singers, Swang is played either in open or atop the platform.

Swang is performed in the form of a mutual dialogue between two characters or group of characters. Both men and women, dressed up in colorful costumes, participate in this drama. The song and music adopted in this drama is an assortment of folk songs, folklore and metrical dialogues.

Dholak, nagara, been and cymbals are the major musical instruments in accompaniment to this drama. Nala Damayanti and Roop Basant are some of the popular forms of Swang. On the occasion of important fairs, Swang is enacted to invoke religious fervor among the people.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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