Goan Folk Dances: Famous Dances of Goa

Goan Folk Dances: Famous Dances of Goa
Goan Folk Dances: Famous Dances of Goa/Credits: JoeGoaUK
Goa, being a home to many ethnic communities and tribes, boasts some of the best dances in the country. The dances are an expression of Goa's rich culture and heritage. They are not performed for entertainment but also carry social meanings and depicts the lifestyle of many tribes and communities across Goa

Some of the popular traditional and folk dances of Goa are

Bhonvaddo is a ritualistic dance which is usually performed during the festival of the Goddess Lairai in Shirgao. It is rhythmic dance and accompanied by dhol beatings.

Chappay is the dance performed by Dhangar community during Dussera festivals. It is also known by the name of Harballo. It is a simple dance which is performed on the slow beatings of dhol.

Corredinho is a popular Goan folk dance which shows the influence of Portuguese in Goa. It is highly popular for its beautiful footwork and colorful attires worn by the performers.

Dekhni in Konkani means "bewitching beauty". The dance drama is performed by women only. It depicts the story of a young girl (Devdasi) whose job is to perform the dance in temples and social ceremonies like weddings.

Dhalo dance is associated with the fertility of the earth. It is a women-only dance and men cannot participate in the dance. Women dances around Tulas, a heap of mud, which symbolizes the mother Earth.

Fugdi is a folk dance, only performed by women of Hindu, Christian and tribal communities during Dhalo festival. This dance does not need any musical instrument and performed on sounds of clapping made by womenfolks. This dance is weaved around the daily life and struggles of these women.

There are two sub-forms of Fugdi: Katti Fugdi and Kalshi Fugdi. Katti Fugdi is a performance with coconut shells in hands whereas Kalshi Fugdi is performed in Satari Taluka with Kalash (water pitcher).

Ghodemodni is a tribal war dance of Goa. It is generally performed during Hindu festival of Shigmo. It is similar to Kacchi Ghodi dance of Rajasthan. It is weaved around the stories of glorious past of Hindu Kings.

Goff is another folk dance of Goan Hindus. It is also performed during Shigmo festival in the Phalgun month. It is weaved around the stories of Lord Krishna and his childhood. Ghumat, Samael, Surta Shansi or any other melodic instruments accompany the dance.

Like Khell Tiatr, Kaalo is another beautiful dance drama from Goa. It is based on the story of Dasavatar, the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The performers who play these characters intermingle with the audience and make interesting conversation with the audience.

Khell Tiatr
Khell is a traditional form of entertainment. It is a very popular form of dance drama in South Goa. Now, it is a general feature of Carnivals and other festivals.

Mando is one of the few local dances with Christian origins. It is accompanied by a rare combination of Violin and Ghumot (an Indian percussion).

Morulo or Morulem is a very popular dance among Goan Hindus. It is generally performed during Shimgo festival but has its origin in a quaint village of Sarwan in Bicholim region, North Goa. The performers mimic the delicate movements of the Peacock and thank their deities by singing traditional songs.

Tonya Mell and Taalgadi
Here Tonya means stick and Mell means group. Tonya Mell is the stick dance of Goan Hindus and similar to Dandiya Ras of Gujarat. Though, it is a men-only dance where Dandiya Ras is performed by both men and women.

Similarly, Taalgaadi is another men-only dance of Goan Hindu community. Though it does not feature stick but it is similar to Tonya Mell in dancing pattern and intensity.

Zagor is a popular dance drama among Hindu and Catholic communities of Goa. It is a humorous take on everyday social life and politics. It is also men-only dance and women are not allowed to participate.

Other popular folk dance forms of Goa are Kunbi dance, Lamp dance, Mussal dance, and Romat dance.

Also read: Folk Dances of India
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