Goa, a picturesque state in the western part of India, is popular for its spectacular beaches and enchanting liveliness of the locals. It is embellished with a mix of myriad cultures and historical influences of different rulers of India and the Portuguese. The folk dances of Goa have emerged out of the blend of various musical forms and lifestyles. Populated by immensely talented and skillful musicians and dance performers, the land attracts thousands of visitors across the world every year.
Spectacular Folk Dances Of Goa
Dhalo is a dance form full of zest and charm. Performed by rural women, it is one of the most prominent dances of Goa. The dance is conducted every year during the month of “Pausha”. It is usually celebrated with energy and delight at night after dinner. The village women assemble at a predefined place and arrange themselves in groups of 12 in two rows facing each other. They tuck their hands at each other back to maintain a neat sequence. The songs accompanying the dance are mainly sung in Konkani or Marathi and are full of enthusiasm and energy. The rhythmic movements of the ladies in tune with the music are entertaining to watch and appreciate.
Corredinho is essentially a couple dance performed by a maximum of six pairs. The couple drape themselves with flashy and brilliantly colored western attires. The dance is significant especially due to its foot-tapping style and pulsating musical beats. It is quite popular among the aristocrat society of Goa.
The concept of Devdasi had been followed in India for quite a long time. As part of this belief, a woman is typically married to God. She is supposed to dedicate her entire life to serving and worshipping God. She often had to perform dances during festivals and certain religious and social occassions. The dance form of Dekhni portrays the life of a devadasi. It is performed solo by the womenfolk of Goa. The music is a superb blend of the Indo-western culture.
Fugdi is the most vivacious and vibrant dance form of Goa. Performed by the women, it is the most popular dance performed in almost every religious ceremonies and social gatherings. Generally there are no musical instruments associated with the dance. The women group themselves in circles and twirl along in ascending movements. The pace of their movements increase in an exponential manner and illustrate the potential and power of energy concealed within the performers. Fugdi dance is divided into two types. The first one is performed with coconut shells and is known as “Katti Fugdi”. The second one is performed with water pots and is known as “Kalshi Fugdi”.
6. Lamp Dance
Lamp dance symbolizes patience, discipline, dedication and self-control. The dancers balance brass lamps on their heads. It is amazing to watch the performers move in slow swaying movements with the heavy lamps securely balanced. The dance is usually accompanied by different folk musical instruments.
Dhangar is dedicated to God “Bira Deva” worshipped mainly by the immigrant shepherd community from Gujarat. The tradition involves a dance by the head of the house during Navratri. The day next, all the members of the family perform the dance of Dhangar with the idols placed at a central place in the village. Both the dance and the music are simple and slow, focusing on the story of Radha and Krishna.
The dance, as the name implies, depicts the ten manifestations of Lord Vishnu. It is performed by both men and women. The men illustrate the Brahmins and the women showcase the rivers.
Shigmo dance is generally performed during spring every year. The spring season is significant specially for the farmers due to the advent of the new crops and a rejuvenating climate. It is said that this dance form is also performed to celebrate the victory of soldiers returning from their mission.
Kunbi is the earliest form of dance in Goa. Kunbis are old inhabitants of the land. They invented this dance form to be performed during religious and social gatherings. The dance is executed by the women with graceful movements. It is wonderful to watch the women dance at a brilliant and fast speed in unison with elegant moves.
Romat dance show is a musical parade and entertainment show. The performers use drums and cymbals as they move down the streets towards the temple. The procession is adorned with large banners, colorful and ceremonial sunshades and other religious symbols. The dresses sparkle and glitter as the dancers perform along the road, displaying a pompous show of amusements and fun.
Goff is a unique dance form in Goa, performed with cords. The astonishing feature of the dance is the skillful movements of the dances with the cords to form four different patterns of braid. As they dance along they again dismantle the braid formation. The songs accompanying the dance are dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Mussals are war instruments used by the Kshatriyas. The dance is performed with the Mussals and signifies victory. Celebrated during the month of Falguna at full moon, the verses of the song are mainly composed with twenty two couplets.
14. Ghode Modni
As the name implies in colloquial language, Ghode Modni is a dance form performed through movements like a horse. The dancers usually attach a horse look alike model at their waists. They wear multi-colored dresses with attractive head gears and anklets. At the beats of drums and cymbals, they move around waving a sword in one hand.
The traditional and folk dances of Goa, signify the rich cultural heritage of the state. They also foster unity and goodwill among the people residing within the state.