By Theresa Micheal,Chandigarh : The originality of dandiya is still a mystery as most dance forms are bequeathed to a God of locality, regionality, nationality and even perhaps mentality. This is a sword dance, which is danced to the rhythm of drums, clapping of hands, single stick, or a pair of sticks, there’s not much singing is involved in it. The dance movements also look like as if the dancer is actually wheeling a sword. This dance was put people together and motivate them to fight for victory and defeat all evil.
Today’s dandiya is very synchronized and well choreographed, but in the ancient dance form the attack and defense was for real, the main aim of dandiya was to strike the sticks and confuse the opponent with a variety of movements. Moving around silently, striking, rapidly alternating between slow and fast movements and putting up a stiff technique of defense with the opponent with by continuously changing the style, steps and speed. Then, the drums were played in accordance to the movement of speed, dance behavior of grace, attitude, arrogance, thanksgiving, sadness, and even stillness. With the advent of commercialism and recorded music we see the reverse trend, all dancers dance according to the music.
In Dandiya Raas men, women, and even children take active participation. Dancing in pairs, circles, whether the partner is male, female, young, old or even children, men and women dance with or without sticks in their hands. The accessories used in the dance form are colorful, generally all colors are seen in the dresses they were, the more color the better the costume. The dandiya sticks are also beautifully decorated, will bells as an attachment, the jingling of the bells is the significance of ushering victory.
From the fitness angle, this is an aerobic dance form with low to high impact. In my fitness menu card, the dandiya is a must. While people have loads of fun, they are also getting healthier. This aerobic dance form increases stamina, strength, flexibility, agility, and youthfulness. It also provides great results for joint and back pain relief, if done under professional instructor’s care and control. In this dance style, the hip movements consisting of arms, hip and leg in forward, backwards, lifts, drops, circles, stretching, bending, lunging, repeating these movements is beneficial to the all the muscles and joints of the body. The dance movement increases the flow of nature’s lubricant in these joints which is much need for the sedentary lifestyle that we are leading. It also reduces mental and physical stress.
People of Chandigarh will get to enjoy this event for the next nine days at Gujarati Bhavan, along with special Gujarati food and snacks. In some societies pendals are put up in the neighborhood for the local residents to come an enjoy moments of unity and harmony. At Kendriya Vihar, sec 48, the residents will trained and treated to this beautiful event organized by Angel Rangers, a group for the kids, by the kids, and of the kids. The event begins 6:00 pm onwards, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There will also be a Dandiya King and Dandiya Queen contest, the best decorated dandiya award and the best social message award.
The article is written by Theresa Micheal, who is an author, fitness instructor, dancer, choreographer, and social entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in bringing people together by bridging the gap of traditional arts and culture.