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Preparing for Navratri with lights, sound and bling

Navratri is the worship of goddess Durga, and the Dandiya dances are the major highlight of the celebrations

mumbai Updated: Oct 08, 2015 20:48 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
Navratri,Garba,Dandiya
A dance group practices for their performance during Navratri.(HT photo)

MUMBAI: With the festival of Navratri just a week away, organisers of Dandiya events are keeping themselves busy. Several city-based organisers have set up pandals and dance stages at venues across the city.

Navratri is the worshipof goddess Durga,and the Dandiyadances are the major highlightof the celebrations.“Like every year, we have set up a wooden stage for the dancers. We are expecting a crowd of 15,000this year,” said Ganesh Naidu, organiser of the popular Korakendra Navratri festival, Borivli. “Unlike at other places, our vocalists will only singtraditional Gujarati folk songs. We will not have Bollywood songs playing at our venue,” said Naidu.

The organisers of Carnival Raas Jalsa, Juhu, another popular Navratri venue in the city, will have a mix of both traditional andBollywood songs. “With popular vocalists like Bhumi Trivedi and Osman Mir singing traditional and Hindifilmsongs for all nine days, we expect to draw a crowd of about 6,000,” said one of the organisers.

Many city-based dance groups have begun practicing the traditionalDandiyadance steps. Borivli resident Dushyant Soni is the choreographer and member of a city-based dance group. Soni, past winner at manyGarba dance competitions since 1990, isnow a judge of several city-based dance competitions. “We are a group of 30 people ranging from sevento 51 years old. We generally meet in the evenings after work to practice the dance steps. I try and teach steps that are different from the regular dance steps,” said Soni.

Many young girls are excited not only about dancing but also about dressing upin traditional attire. “Every year, my sister and I buy new clothes for Navratri. Not only do we enjoy the dance, but we also like dressing up in chaniya-cholis and traditional jewellery,” said Dahisar resident Deepal Soni.