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Goa Tourism : Goa Travel Guide : Music and Dance in Goa

Music & Dance

The Musical Tradition of Goa is very old. As early as the 12th Century there is reference to music in Goa in Treatises like "Sangiut Ratnakar" and "Sangiut Samayasar". Surprisingly, even though Goa borders Karanataka the music adopted was of Hindustani style. We have references to dance singer Mohana Goa MusicPalker who enriched the Peshwas' court in the 18th century. Earlier Nagalibai Mandrekar served in the court of Kutub Shah of Golconda in the 17th Century. Bhanamati the daughter of Naglibai Mandrekar was the court dancer of Golconda. Goa has produced several vocalists and instrumentalists such as Morarka Pednekar, Mashelkar, Mal-pekar, Parwatkar Dinanath Mangesh-kar and a host of others. The classical Hindu music of Goa was traditionally the preserve of the temples. As times went by the temples were not able to sustain this tempo and the patronage given to the temple girls, bhavins and kalavants all but disappeared. The chief exponents left were the richer courts of the princes. However, one off shoot of this music the bhajan survived. Some of these were set in pure classical ragas. These family singing in the evening turned to community singing about the middle of nineteenth century. Later week long musical village performance became the popular mode. This became a very common feature of Goan rural life and it still continues. Singing in the temples also continued, though much reduced. Monoharburwa Shirgaonkar was one of these outstanding Goan Bhajan singers. The temple based pre-Portuguese form of music is personified by Dashvtar, Perni Zagar, Gaulan Kala, Henpet, Pene, Virabhadra etc. Along-with there are Goa Musiccommunity based forms is the music which accompanies dance forms such as Gavda Zagar, Dhalo, Phugadi, Goff etc. Some of these have their counterparts in the rest of the country. A peculiar feature of these forms is that it is wellknown in advance when and where a particular form is going to be performed. The post Portuguese form of music camp up with the Christians. Their attitude towards music made it a part of the daily life of every individual. The Portuguese taught western music as a part of school teaching in schools attached to churches. This influence of western music is most strong in Goan secular music. Many famous western music performers have been produced by Goa. Thus was born the Mondo an intermingling of traditional Indian folk style set to a western tune. The theme is also local and always romantic. The song of Goa Mandos, Dulpods, and Deknnis -- are romantic and haunting and are clearly derived from church music where the story began.

The folk dance forms are community based. The Hindus have many folk dance peculiar to the season or the festival which is being celebrated. Goff is danced in an alternate slow and fast music. It is a dance confined to men folk of the Cancona Taluka and is connected with the harvest season. The dancers wind and unwind coloured chords as they dance at a vigorous pace. The Kunbis dance is peculiar to the Kunbi Tribe. They were the earliest inhabitants of Goa. The dance is a combined one of men folk and women folk. The dancers wear very colourful costumes and dance in the moonlight to the music of Ghu-mat rhythms. Talagadi is another dance form where only men perform. It has very celeborate steps but the music is slow. It is a common dance which can be performed at any get-together. Tonyamel is a dance which has its counterpart in the Dandiyaras of Gujarat.

The dancers dmce to the rhythm of the music with short sticks in their hands. Goa MusicThese sticks are beaten together in rhythm with matching footwork. The dance celebrates the successful harvest season. Eastern Goa has the costumed dance of Virabhadra which depicts the legend of Dakshayaga. There are Kanada words used in the song showing its Kanada origin. The dancer is dressed up as the mythical Virabhadra and he dances with a sword in each hand accompanying the percussion instruments Dhol and Tash.

Mussal Khel is a dance of Chandor village. Only men folk participate in this dance. The men use wooden pestles during this dance. Phugdi and Dhalo are two dance forms where only women dance. Phugdi is also very common in Maharashtra while Phugdi is danced to a fast rhythm Dhalo is a slow dance. A variant of Phugdi is Kalash Phugdi. In this dance women blow into earthen pots held in their hands while they step backwards and forwards. Dhangar and Ratib are two other forms typical of the area.

Shigmo festival is celebrated all over Goa but the Ghodemodni dance is typical of the'Bicholin area where the Rane's once ruled. Only men dance in this form. It is a martial dance with dummy horses. The dancers imitate the horsemen as well as horses. The horses are formed with bamboo girdles with painted horseheads tied round the waist of the dancers. The dancers hold swords in their hands. The music imitates the sound of horses hooves.

The 'Corridinbo' is the impact of Portuguese Rule in Goa. The dance has fast rhythm and is danced with the use of paper lanterns and coloured handkerchiefs. The dancers wear very colourful dresses. The basic dance is Portuguese but it is very popular in Goa because of the fast tempo of the music.

Goa MusicDrama is a popular form during the Hindu festivals in Coa. All the Hindu families have one or more member participating in these dramas. As many as 1500 dramas are staged during the festival season. More than a 1000 of these performances are during the Shigmo festival when every village stages its own performance. A form of drama very popular in Goa is "Tiatr". In this form the main story is interspersed with musical and humorous interludes. These have no relation with the main story. The origin seems to be Portuguese and the Christian community participates in these dramas.

Goa has a College of Art with facilities for teaching the fine arts. People like lad, Trindole, Vaz, Mulgaonkar, Fernandes and Dalai have been eminent in this field. The Kala Academy of Goa has not only teaching facilities but also other facilities like a 2000 spectator open air theatre, air conditioned auditoriums, experimental theatre, exhibition hall, library etc. The Academy has identified 27 folk art forms. Festivals are also held. Drama and Bhajan competitions are also held. The Academica de Musical for imparting training in western vocal and instrumental music has also been taken over by the Kala Academy.

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