Durga Puja » Dandiya Raas in Navratri

Dandiya Raas in Navratri

Dandiya Raas is a special feature of Navratri festival. Traditionally, it is most popular dance of Gujarat but it not restricted till Gujarat, but also performed throughout India. As the festival of Navratri is devoted to pay homage to the nine incarnations of Mother Shakti (Goddess of Power) and people follow ritual fast on all nine days of festival and visit temples and Navratri Pandals regularly. Though, the days are filled with devotion towards Goddess Amba, but nights are vivid and full with festive spirit. People participate in Dandiya Raas organized by different groups and organizations. Even state government made special arrangements for Dandiya Dance performances.

Dandiya Raas is generally performed in a group including men and women both. The unique aspect of this dance form is the colorful dresses worn by the dancers and they carry multicolor sticks. This beautifully adorned stick is used as a prop. Dancers hold stick min their both hands and strike them together on the beats of song or music. A huge number of people involve in Dandiya Dance at a time. As per dance set up, dancers form two circles. A circle turn around clockwise and another anti-clockwise.

The Dandiya dance is a lively and fast tempo activity, and there is no scope for lethargy in this dance form. The performers are accompanied by musicians, playing a drum called 'meddale'. A person stands in the middle of both circles and guide the performers with his beats. The view of hundreds of people swaying on the thump of folk music is breathtaking. The sticks or the Dandias, when hit together in a beat, generate foot tapping musical effect. Kathiawar Raas dancers from Saurashtra are considered the best Dandiya Raas dancers of the region.

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