Dandia Rasa

The Dandia Rasa dance of Gujarat is performed as an essential part of festivals synchronized with different agricultural operations like sowing and harvesting. Dandia Rasa is danced only by men. Its counterpart is Garba which is danced only by women. It is believed that Dandia Rasa was originated by Krishna. Several kinds of Rasa dances are prevalent in Gujarat and Sourashtra regions. All are associated with Krishna legend. These Rasa dances are totally different from the Rasa dances of Manipur, which are highly stylized and are considered classical. Dandia is an epithet because in this Rasa dance the dancers hold two wooden sticks in both their hands. While dancing they rhythmically strike not only the two sticks but also strike the sticks held by other dancers who are either in front or at the sides. Often jingle bells (ghungroos) are tied to one end of each stick. When the sticks are struck the jingling sound enhances the percussion music. The dancers wear typical costume which consists of a white frock coat called Kadiya. It is colorfully embroidered with local motifs of sun, moon, peacock, etc. The chorni is like churidar-pyjama. It is also white. The dancers cover their heads with turbans. The dancers sing while dancing and the percussion music is provided by drums and cymbals.