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Dandiya Dance

Dandiya dance is a religious folk dance of Gujarat and performed in the festival of Navratri (Navratri Utsav). This dance form is also performed in the Marwadi region of Rajasthan

Difference between Garba and Dandiya Dance

  1. Dandiya originated from Vrindavan and Garba originated from Gujrat only.
  2. In Dandiya, the dance is performed with colorful sticks and in Garba, there is a circular dance performed around the statue of Goddess shakti.
  3. A garba performance ideally should never break the circle but a dandia performance need not always be in circles.
  4. Dandia songs are mostly focused around Krishna Leela and his dances with Radha and gopis. Whereas Garba songs are focused around the Goddess Shakti.
  5. In Garba dance, there are hand moments with occasional clapping while in dandiya dance (Dandia dance) and play with bamboo sticks with team up in group. 

Origin & History of Dandiya dance

Incipiently presented in honor of Goddess Durga, the dance form represents a battle between the demon Mahishasura and the Goddess. Another fable affirms that the dance form dawned from Krishna & Radha’s ‘raas leela’, hence the name ‘Dandiya Raas’. Also, it was earlier performed only by men, who seldom used weapons (Swords)instead of sticks in the dance performance.

How to play dandiya

Men and women traditionally play dandiya-raas and the dance moves in couples, meaning the group must contain an even number. Generally, two lines are formed, with partners facing each other:

The lines move clockwise, and each person steps forward to hit sticks with their partner, then moves on two people. At the end of the line, each turns and joins the line opposite, so the movement is continuous. The music starts very slowly. It is an eight-beat time cycle called Kaherva and performed in the following manner: on the first beat, your sticks are hit together, followed by right sticks with your partner, then left sticks (or the same stick if using one). Each one then turns away to the left to hit their sticks together before turning back to the partner to hit right sticks again, and before moving on two places to a new partner.

Dandiya dance steps, Highlights

  1. Dandiya raas is performed in an even set of the group in two circles.
  2. Two circles have been developed for dandiya dance. 1 circle rotates clockwise, whilst the other rotates anti-clockwise.
  3. The drummer takes place in the center of the two circles and directs the dancers with his beats.
  4. Individuals dancing to the tunes of Dandiya should be ready with the bamboo sticks and pair up into partners.
  5. Match the footwork with your companion and music.
  6. Hit your sticks in an X kind and then hit each the sticks to your companion.
  7. These steps are repeated clock smart and anti-clockwise. It is done in opposite to the partners.

Costume Description

Women – Women dress in three-piece Ghagra or also identified as Chaniya. It is a set of a skirt, blouse, and an odhni. The skirt is created in such a way that it flares round when the woman steps back and front. Females also dress up in stunning and suitable jewelry.

Men – Boys and men dress up in dhotis and aangrakha or kurtas, ‘kedia’ — a large waist tops and ‘mojdee’ — a handmade leather shoe. 

Dandiya Dance Steps

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