|DANDIYA RAAS (GUJARAT)
Dandiya Raas is a simple, rhythmic dance performed by young
people moving around an imaginary circle in measured steps to the beat of dandiya
sticks that they carry in their hands. The beat for the dance is kept by the clacking
sticks, with clapping hands keeping pace. A variation of this dance is Matka Nritya
in which performers strike their fingers against empty pots to generate a distinctive
beat. In the Mer Rasa, the dance begins on a slow note but the tempo speeds up
during the performance. Members of the shepherd community perform the Gher Rasa
using long sticks. Another agricultural community performs the Gheria Rasa holding
a stick in one hand and a peacock feather in the other. Yet another variation
of the Dandiya raas is the Gof Gunthan in which dancers carry sticks in only one
hand, and a length of colored string in the other. The latter is woven into a
unique pattern as they move around in a circle.
Devarattam or ' the dance of the gods' is the dance of
the Kambala Naikar community of Tamil Nadu, who believe that they are the direct
descendants of the 'devas' or gods. Fast and fluent movements to the rhythmic
sound of ' Deva Thunthubi' - a drum-shaped percussion instrument, make this dance
truly enjoyable. . The dance is performed during festivals, marriages and other
Dhamyal is the leading dance of Haryana, often also known as
the Duph. The Duph is a circular drum, played nimbly by the men dancers, while
the dance can be performed by men alone or along with women.
HAMCHI DANCES (GUJARAT)
The Siddis or Abysinnians who came from Africa to serve in Gujarat
centuries ago, perform the Dharmar and Hamchi dances - these are usually energetic,
with a fast tempo.
DOL CHOLAM (MANIPUR)
The drum, by itself, enjoys a privilege in the dances of Manipur.
There are several kinds of drums, each intended for a particular occasion. The
festival of Holi, in spring, is the real time for drum dances, such as Dhol Cholom.
DOLLU KUNITHA (KARNATAKA)
The Dollu Kunitha is a popular drum dance of Karnataka. The
vigorous drum dance performed by the men of the shepherd community known as '
Kourba'. Powerful drumming, acrobatic movements and attractive formations are
the notable highlights of the dance. The men have large drums, decorated with
colored cloth, slung from their necks, and they beat the drums as they dance with
nimble movements of the feet and legs. The dance is at times accompanied by songs,
which are either religious or in praise of war.