India | Andhra Pradesh

Dolla Nrityam




Dolla Nrityam is the dance with drums, performed as a part of the ritual during the Beerappa festival which marks the marriage of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. Drummers take up different positions and beat the drum in different variations.

The dancers, called 'Beerannas', cover their foreheads with sacred ash and embellish themselves with ornaments including 'Oggu', a brass 'Naphera', and bells to the ankles, a ring on the second finger of the right leg, a golden ring on the right leg and silver on the left. They wear a short or a top with bells stitched on and a sword to symbolize valour.

The priest takes the Goddess Ganga in procession, as part of the festival ritual. Beerannas accompany the priest in rhythmic circular and semi circular movements. Finally, the drummers make an important formation of a tree; eight dancers stand in a circle while four dancers climb on their shoulders. The process continues till a single drummer stands a top beating his drum.

Dolla Nrityam draws huge crowds from far and near.



Updated on 17th March, 2015

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