Rajkot (Gujarat), Oct 11: Navararti festival brings an occasion when thousands of youngsters enjoy dancing together while participating in the traditional Dandiya or Garba dance. But this time, it"s going to be different. This year the Dandiya dance will be performed on roller skates. Many youngsters have prepared themselves to play Dandiya-Raas on roller skates.
"We are playing Dandiya on skates and really enjoying it. Steps like four, six and tappa to name a few can only be carried on if one's mind and body are in tandem," said Prakesha Shah, a girl playing dandiya on skates.
During Dandiya or Garba dances, participants, regardless of age, are dressed up in multi-coloured traditional costumes.
Raas and Garba dances are said to have originated in Gujarat and Sindh (now in Pakistan). These traditional dances are performed during Navratri, which is the longest Hindu festival celebrated all over India for nine consecutive nights in praise of Lord Rama and Goddess Durga.
Garba is performed before Aarti (worshipping ritual) as devotional performances in the honour of the Goddess while Dandiya is performed after it, as a part of merriment. While Garba is performed exclusively by women, men and women join in for Raas Dandiya.
The dancers whirl and move their feet and arms in a choreographed manner to the tune of the music with lots of drum beats. The drum is used as well as complementary percussion instruments such as the Dholak, tabla and others.
Originated as devotional Garba dances, which were performed in Durga's honor, this dance form is actually the staging of a mock-fight between the Goddess and Mahishasura, the mighty demon-king, and is nicknamed "The Sword Dance".
The sticks of the dance represent the sword of Durga.
The women wear traditional dresses such as colorful embroidered choli, ghagra and bandhani dupattas (traditional attire) dazzling with mirror work and heavy jewellery. Men wear special turbans and Kedias (the short frock), but they can change from area to area.