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Dandiya Night This Navaratri!

by Madhav Srinivasan 5 year, 7 months ago

The Dandiya dance is an ancient folk dance form that can be traditionally traced back along its origin to the time of Lord Krishna. Dandiya Raas is especially associated with Krishna and his Raas Lila. Here’s more on this part of Indian culture…

What is Dandiya Dancing?

Dandiya dances are traditionally performed during festive occasions like Navratri or Dussehra. It celebrates the defeat of the demon Mahishasura by the hands of the Goddess Durga. Dandiya is mainly associated with western India and there are many dance forms and variations within this major dance variety.

The main Dandiya dances are the Dandiya Raas, Raas Lila and Raas Garbha. All these dances are accompanied by the rhythmic beats of percussion instruments like the Dhol and TablaThe term Dandiya denotes a pair of colorfully decorated sticks that are held by the dancers and are clapped together either against one another or against a partner’s, in beautifully choreographed movements across a group. Dandiya can be performed in slow graceful swings or fast dazzling acrobatic movements. Men and women usually form circles and dance gracefully to the music that’s played during the festivities.

Traditionally, the Dandiya is accompanied by the rhythmic beat of drums and special songs. These dances, when performed during Navratri, are especially carried out to honor the Mother Goddess but they can also be in honor of other Gods, especially Lord Krishna.

The Raas has ancient associations with Krishna, as he’s said to have performed this beautiful dance with the Gopis or cow herds of Vrindavan. In recent years, Dandiya performances during Dussehra or Navratri have become extremely social events, rather than traditional ones, and they attract tourists to places like Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Bangalore where such events are prevalentTourists are sure to enjoy a trip to these parts of India during this time, as the festivities will be colorful and the dances graceful.

Dandiya Nights in Ahmedabad

Gujarat is traditionally considered as the land of Lord Krishna and Raas dances have specific significance here. Dandiya nights in Ahmedabad attracts young people from everywhere, who come here to party and dance away the nights. In that sense, the event has moved away from the traditional religious aspect and has become more of an entertaining and tourist friendly one.

This has also encouraged the art form and many special Dandiya groups give performances in Ahmedabad not just during Navaratri, but also on other special occasions. Watching men and women perform this dance, adorned in colorful and graceful traditional dresses and clapping their Dandiya sticks together, performing intricate and incredibly graceful dance movements, can be an experience that you won’t soon forget.

The city of Ahmedabad was abuzz this Navaratri, with major Garba events in GU Ground and Rajpath Club attracting hordes of people. Dhollywood 2011, an event organized collectively by Ahmedabad Mirror and Adani Shantigram, put up a successful show with dancing couples and live bands with pure energy in the air. 

The Vishwano Sauthi Laambo Nrutya Mahotsav in GU Ground was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Narendra Modi. The turnout to this event was higher than expected, thanks to the state level garba competition that brought together the best dancers from across the region. 

Dandiya Nights in Mumbai

The Rangeelo Raas Dandiya 2011 was a major event organized in the city of Mumbai during Navaratri, and this event was planned out by Green Chili Events. Held in Grovels 101 in Kandivli, it featured a performance by Piyush Rajani (a star from India's Got Talent) and is the best time to book Maharashtra tour packages.

The event was a major success as the turnout was high, thanks to the elaborate arrangements and the location's accessibility. Dandiya 2011, yet another event held in Goregaon Sports Club, featured performances by Falguni Pathak, Tushar Trivedi, Sanjay Sawant and Hemangini and this event was a clear winner in terms of scale as Falguni Pathak is one of the most in-demand artists during the festive season in Northern and Western India. 

When you take a trip to India during the time of Navratri, make sure that you witness at least one Dandiya event and participate in it, as you can dance away the night without a care in the world, swaying to the addictive beats of the festive season. 

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