Dumhal is a dance performed by the men folk of the Wattal tribe of
Kashmir on specific occasions. The performers wear long colorful
robes, tall conical caps that are
studded with beads and shells. The party moves in a procession carrying a banner
in a very ceremonial fashion. It is dug into the ground and the men begin to dance,
forming a circle. The musical accompaniment comprises a drum and the vocal singing
of the participants. Dumhal is performed on set occasions and at set locations.
The famous dance of Pondicherry is believed
to have a purely mythological origin. As the legend goes, when Rama
- the epic hero of Ramayana defeated Ravana
then the vanars (monkeys) performed this dance to celebrate his victory. Garadi
is performed during all festivals and usually continues for five to eight hours.
The dancers are disguised as 'vanars' and carry sticks in their hands as they
dance to the beat of two big drums, called ' Ramadolus'.
A distinctive feature of this dance is the iron rings called 'anjali' which dancers
wear on their legs - ten on each leg. As the dancer proceeds, these rings produce
a melodious sound.
Garba, the leading dance of women in Gujarat,
is performed, in honor of the goddess Amba.
This fertility dance involves perforated earthen pots in which an oil lamp is
placed symbolizing embryonic life. This is balanced on women's heads as they move
around a circle, snapping their fingers and clapping their hands to produce a
fast beat. At times men too dance, by singing and clapping, and the dance is known
as Garbi. Traditionally the Garba is intended
to be danced only at night and as a votive offering. In an evolved version, the
dance can be performed for its own sake and at any time.
GHODE MODNI (GOA)
Ghode Modni is a dummy horse presentation, where the dancers, attired gorgeously
and armed with swords, recapitulate, through step and movement, the valor and
deeds of the Goan warriors of old.
GHOOMAR (HARYANA & RAJASTHAN)
Beautiful women dressed in multi-hued skirts swirl gracefully during this lively
dance. Ghoomar is performed by young women and girls during various festivities
like Holi, Gangaur Puja, Teej, etc. In Haryana, the songs sung for Ghoomar are
high-pitched and rich in humor and satire. In Rajasthan, Ghoomar is performed
to the songs of valor and victory.