Jaipur — Nothing boosts the festive mood like dandiya, which brings together dance, music and revelry with a bang. In Jaipur, people are enrolling in dance classes even as organisers innovate to draw the crowds.
Dandiya, a part of Navratri celebrations in northern India Sep 23-Oct 1, is organised professionally or impromptu all over the city with celebrities popping in and prizes for best dress or dancer announced as dancers twirl their sticks to pulsating tunes.
As organisers compete with one another to pull in more people, dandiya – a dance form that originated in Gujarat and Sindh – becomes more ornate and enjoyable.
“This time it is more fun,” said Rahul Jain, a participant.
Prizes range from DVD players and 21-inch colour TVs to mobile phones and refrigerators. Many organisers have added game shows like tambola to jazz up the proceedings.
“At the end of the day, it is fun that matters. People are coming here to enjoy their evening. People like variety and most organisers have brought something new this time,” said Vivek Sharma, an event manager.
Some organisers, however, have stayed away from Bollywood celebrities this year.
“People get carried away by celebrities, neglecting dandiya. So this time round, most events in the city are being organised without any celebrity,” says Meera Saxena, a choreographer.
Several dance schools in the city are offering exclusive dance lessons to ensure participants don’t make a false move while pirouetting with the dandiya sticks in their hands.
“We generally take classes 15 days before Navratri to equip our students with all choreographic technicalities of the dance. We also guide students on the dress code and body language, which helps them emerge as winners in various competitions,” said Sexana, who is also a director at the Buskers Dance School.
Adding fun to this festive season, several event management companies like Tri-Ambica have even called Bollywood choreographers to impart dance training.
“We are organising a 15-day dance workshop, which would conclude with a big dance show. We have called Bollywood choreographer Atul Narang who is training people on jazz dancing, salsa and rock and roll,” Tri-Ambica director Prakshit Sharma said.
Charging from Rs.400 to Rs.5,000, these dancing schools are attracting people in hordes.
“We are here to learn the technicalities of traditional dancing. After all, you have to be in tune with changing trends,” said teenager Shilpa Agarwal.