Sunday, December 4, 2022
Andhra Pradesh


Dimsa Dance of Araku Valley

The Araku valley is the most charming hilly region in Visakhapatnam district. Valmiki, Bagata, Khond and Rotia tribes inhabit this valley and other areas of this district.  The favourite dance of these tribes is Dimsa which is performed by old and young men and women, during the month of chaitra i.e. in March/April,  during weddings and other festivals. During festivals people go from one village to another to participate in the dance and are honoured with community feasts. People of different villages enjoy such festivities and dances called 'Sankidi Kelbar'. Dimsa Dance not only provides amusement to the dancers and spectators but also develops friendship and fraternity between people of different villages. The instruments accompanying Dimsa are mori Kiridi, tudumu, duppu and jodukommulu.  There are eight varieties of the Dimsa Dance. 

i)Boda Dimsa- It is a worship dance in honour of the village goddess. Men on the right side and women on the left side form two rows and hold one another firmly with their hands over their backs. The first man in the right row, with a bunch of peacock feathers in his hands in rhythmical steps takes the lead as a hero and the last person in the left row joins him. Then all the dancers, once again to the sounds of the anklets move zigzag as in a serpent dance in a circle, crying Hari and Hui. In mirth they go round and come back in to the rows.

ii)  Gunderi Dimsa or 'Usku Dimsa'-  A male member of the dancing troupe sings out an invitation to the females to dance with him. The males and females with firm steps moving forward and backwards, stride in a circle. This is a vigorous and exciting dance.

iii)  Goddi Beta Dimsa - Bowing down and lifting up their heads, the tribal troupes dance as if they are picking up stones. Bending forward and rising up with a swing, they go forward twenty-five steps and come back in the same manner. This is repeated four to five times.

iv)  Potar - Tola Dimsa - This dance symbolises picking up leaves. Half of the dancers stand side by side in a row. The rest stand behind the first row in the same manner and keep their hands on the shoulders of the people standing before them.  Turning their heads to the right and left, the two rows march forward and backward.

v)  Bhag Dimsa- This dance is meant as an instruction on how to escape from a tiger's attack. Half of the troupe form a circle hand in hand. They stand on their toes, bowing and raising their heads. Moving round swiftly, the rest enter the circle and form a 'serpent coil'. This is repeated several times.

vi)  Natikari Dimsa- This is a solo dance performed by valmikis on Deepavali in particular and other tribals during other festivals in general.

vii)  Kunda Dimsa- In this the dancers push each other with their shoulders while singing rhythmically.

viii)  Baya Dimsa. This is a dance of the tribal magician (gamachari) when he is possessed by the village goddess. All the villagers surround the magician with their heads bowed and imitate him. This continues till the magician returns to normalcy from his trance.

The united community view point is the essential feature of these tribal dances. Without any discrimination of caste and creed, age and sex, the whole community participate in these dances. The community development programmes have affected their way of life and the dance forms, which essentially belongs to their cultural heritage. All the dances conform to the rhythm of either Aditala or Rupakatala.