Saturday, November 17, 2018
Gujarat

Arts


Dance

Rasa

Dandia Rass A form of dance which is supposed to belong to Kutch and Suarashtra is performed all over Gujarat. The rasa traditions are as old as the Puranic period. In various parts of the country, Rasa are danced in different manners. The main feature of Rasa is dancing in a circle by men and woman, to the accompaniment of musical instruments and keeping  time either by clapping or beating of two sticks. The number of dancers go from 8,16, 32  up to 64 couples, who also sing the song. There are three varieties of Rasaka described.

  1. Danda Rasaka-Rasa dance where Danda or sticks are used.

  2. Mandala  or Tala Rasaka-Rasa  dance where clapping is used.

  3. Lata Rasaka-Rasa dance where dancers cling to each other  and dance like a creeper to a tree.

Most  of the art traditions of Gujarat trace their origin to the mythological  times of Lord Krishna. He is said to have been an exponent of art of dancing. Raas Nritya  is a form of dance performed by lord Krishna with Gopikas. The Dandia variety of the Raas Nritya of Gujarat is generally performed by a group of youthful persons, both males and females, who move in circles to measured steps, beating time with small sticks (called dandia) singing to the accompaniment of Dhol, Cymbals, Zanz,  flute or Shehnai. When the time beat is given by the clapping of palms and performed  only by males, it is called Garbi.

The Gof variety of the raas  is an intricate performance wherein the performers holding coloured strings attached to a top, move in circles  weaving and unweaving different patterns.

The Mers of Saurashtra are known for their folk dance called the Mer Raas. White shepherds  perform what is called the Gher Raas. The Gheria Raas is a dance performed by the agriculturists of south Gujarat.

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