THE SIXTH day of the silver jubilee celebrations at Bharat Bhavan distinguished Gujarat in a very vibrant manner. Twirling glass-studded ghagras, embroidered cholis, multi-hued duppattas and vibrant turbans with beautifully laced dandiyas clearly stood out during the colourful dance forms presented by ‘Niyati’ and ‘Shiv Shakti Yuvak Mandal’ (Chinchli) — two prominent cultural troupes representing the land of ‘Garba’ and ‘Dandiya Raas’.
The folk revelry began with a traditional dance form ‘Mata Ka Garba’ wherein women observe a nine-day fast and worship goddess ‘Ambika’ and sing devotional songs and dance around the ‘Garbha’ (clay pot) and invocate the Shakti to bestow them with the strength and courage to fight evil forces.
Young girls swayed to the folk tunes emanating from the Dholak, synthesiser and Shehnai while holding ‘ diyas’ in both the hands that divinely lit up the atmosphere at the open-air auditorium housing hundreds of audience watching the item spellbound. This was followed by a Holi number characteristically belonging to Rajasthan with the girls gyrating to the famous tunes of ‘Holiya Ma Udere Gulal, Kahio Mangetar se’.
Other situationally choreographed pieces included ‘Banjara Nritya’ and ‘Hudo Nritya’ which typically went on to capture the emotions of nomadic dancers and young dating couples in rural fairs respectively. The rhythmic background score along with the mellifluous vocals provided by coordinator Niyati Dave up enthused the gathering that thoroughly enjoyed the live set-up and responded with timely applause.
The ‘Dangi Nritya’ was also performed to perfection by the tribal folk artistes of Chincli. This tribal dance is executed on the auspicious occasions of Holi, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and ‘Bhootdev’ festivity. Beckoning their group deity, Lord Dungar Dev, these performers shook the floor with fast foot movements and repetitive clapping in their next recital called the ‘Dungar Dev Nritya.
However, the most celebrated dance form called the Raas, which came in the end entertained the audience to the hilt to give a fitting finale to the entire programme. It brought alive the heavenly reverberations echoed by of the cosmic flutist Krishna and his endearing ‘gopis’ while playing around in the village environs… All and all it was an evening dishing out pure rustic entertainment.