Dandiya and Garba dances influenced by Bollywood

November 14th, 2007 - 2:20 am ICT by admin  
Mumbai, Oct.16 (ANI): With almost every form of entertainment getting influenced by Bombay films , the two vibrant dance forms-Dandiya-Raas and Garba–of Gujarat are no more an exception.

In Mumbai, Navaratri celebrations take a refreshing meaning for mind and soul when playback singer Falguni Pathak joins thousands of enthusiasts in their Dandia-raas dance programmes during the nine-day festivities.

Every day, 20,000 to 35,000 people come to listen to Falguni Pathak’s songs and love to dance to her tunes during the nine-day Navratri festivities.

“Every year, we perform five Garba dances and songs dedicated to the Goddess Durga. Later, we sing other songs as well. There are some songs in different languages like Rajasthani besides Marathi Lavani but maximum are Gujarati folk songs,” said Falguni Pathak.

alguni, who sings at more than one Navaratri programme in a day, added that the main content of the events remains Gujarati since the two dances of Garba and Dandia Raas are more closely associated with the State. But she also sings in various other languages to enthrall audience of all regions and languages.

However, individuals like don-turned-State legislator Arun Gawali, has their distinctive way of celebrating the Navratri festival.

Gawli professed deep faith in the Goddess Durga and said that he has been hosting Navaratri Utsav at his Dagadi Chawl for quarter of a century with enthusiasm and devotion.

“I have a lot of devotion towards Goddess and I celebrate this festival every year. I have been celebrating it since the last 25 years,” said Arun Gawali.

Today, the two traditional dance forms-Garba and Dandiya-raas– have been influenced by the music of Bollywood and Indipop cacophony as evident from the pulsating beats echoed out of the 10,000 watt speakers at the community Navaratri celebrations in Mumbai.

With millions of Gujaratis having made Mumbai their home, these dances have become the main attraction at the hundreds of neighbourhood and community celebrations.

The traditional dances Garba and Dandia Raas of Gujarat, staged during the Navaratri (Dussera) festival are no more confined to that particular State.

Raas and Garba dances are said to have originated in Gujarat and Sindh (now in Pakistan). These traditional dances are performed during Navratri, which is the longest Hindu festival celebrated all over India for nine consecutive nights in praise of Lord Rama and Goddess Durga.

Garba is performed before Aarti (worshipping ritual) as devotional performances in the honour of the Goddess while Dandiya is performed after it, as a part of merriment. While Garba is performed exclusively by women, men and women join in for Raas Dandiya.

The dancers whirl and move their feet and arms in a choreographed manner to the tune of the music with lots of drum beats. The drum is used as well as complementary percussion instruments such as the Dholak, tabla and others.

Originated as devotional Garba dances, which were performed in Durga’s honor, this dance form is actually the staging of a mock-fight between the Goddess and Mahishasura, the mighty demon-king, and is nicknamed “The Sword Dance”.

The sticks of the dance represent the sword of Durga.

The women wear traditional dresses such as colorful embroidered choli, ghagra and bandhani dupattas (traditional attire) dazzling with mirror work and heavy jewellery. Whereas men wear special turbans and Kedias (the short frock), but can range from area to area. (ANI)

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