Naati is danced in more than a dozen styles in Himachal Pradesh. Basically, Naati is a recreational kind of dance. But the Naati danced at the time of Dussehra festival in Kulu valley acquires a ceremonial character. The Dussehra festival in Kulu valley is a grand religious ceremony. Various deities worshipped in neighboring villages are brought to the festival site with colorful processions. Performance of Naati on this occasion is a must. The dance movements are simple yet gracefully lyrical. It is danced in a semicircular formation led by an expert dancer. The dance begins with a slow tempo which increases gradually. Earlier Naati was danced only by men and the most enthusiastic onlookers were women. Now both men and women perform the dance with equal zeal. The orchestra that accompanies the dance is comprised of Sarna, a double-reeded wind instrument that provides the melodic base; Karnal, a kind of long straight trumpet with a very large funnel; Dhol and Nagada, the drums that give the rhythmic structure to the dance. The dancers sing while dancing.
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