Dhamaal

When the crop is ripe for harvesting the farmer surveys the fields with satisfaction. He dresses in his finery and expresses his joy in a dance called the Dhamal. This dance is especially popular in the Ahir areas of Gurgaon. It is also performed in Mahendragarh district. The Been player gives the first long note. The Dhol, Tasha and Nagara pick up the beat and the dancers troop into the arena. Some carry large Daphs in their hands. These are edged with frills of brightly coloured fabric. The others carry sticks (Shuntis) of medium length, wrapped with tinsel and tasseled at both ends. The dancers from a semi circle and with their heads on the ground invoke the blessing of the goddess Bhavani, Lord Ganesh and the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. They, then, rise and dance to a gradually increasing tempo. The choreography, as in all folk-dances, is simple. Jumping is the most enduring expression of Joy and the dancers do a lot of it in the Dhamal. Individual prowess is shown in various solo dance movements when they use the ‘Shuntis’ and Daphs to great effect. At times they playfully imitate the women of the village who do not participate in this dance.