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The Dandaria folk dance is one of the important cultural performing arts of the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The tribal folk dances form this state of India for an inseparable part of the rich cultural heritage of the country. Many tribes coexist and thrive peacefully in Andhra Pradesh and one of them is the Gond tribe from the mountains in the Northern parts of the state. The Dandaria is a completely male dance form and it is usually comprised of three troupes, the young men who are the dancers, the musicians including the drummers and the old men who basically are the experienced singers that sing the folk songs of the tribe. The dance is particularly vigorous and has a masculine touch to it; women do not take part in any aspect of its performance. The female roles in the Dandaria are enacted by the young boys of the community.

Dance Form

The Dandaria dance form is a very vigorous and has a bit of martial aspect. The dancers dance using long sticks as their main prop. The performance involves the visiting of the dance group to all the neighboring villages and meeting with their dance groups and then performing the dance collectively with the entire village as an audience.

The Dandaira dance involves men dancing in circular formations and clashing their sticks in an anti-clockwise pattern. The sounds created by the striking of sticks functions like a metronome and set the tempo of the music and the song of the accompanying musicians. It also is used to smoothly change songs by changing the rhythm of the clanging of the sticks. The dance steps of Dandaria are short and forceful requiring much energy and vitality on the part of dancers.

Musical Instruments

The musical instruments that are used to provide the beats for the music are the regional folk instruments like the Dhol and the Tasha, which are waist bound percussion instruments.

Another important part of the musical ensemble for the Dandaria dance is the singing of the folk songs by the elderly chorus of the tribe. These songs are the traditional songs of the tribes that often describe the regional myths and legends that may be considered as cultural education.


The significance of the Dandaria dances lies in the fact that the dance group of the villages travel to their neighboring villages and perform the dance in coordination with the dance group of the host villages. The guest dancers are warmly welcomed and received by the men and women of the host village as highly honored guests.


There are no special or standard variations for the Dandaria dance.

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