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Classic Dances of India

Folk Dances of India

Fisher Dance, Goa

This popular dance derives its name from the fisher folk of Maharashtra - Kolis, who are noted for their distinct identity and lively dances. Their dances incorporate elements they are most familiar with - the sea and their occupation of fishing.

The dance is performed by both men and women - divided into two groups, where in fishermen stand in 2 rows holding oars in their hands and moving in unison, portraying the movement of the rowing of a boat. Fisherwomen stand in opposite rows with their arms linked and advancing towards men folk. The separate formation then break up and they dance together with movements symbolising the waves, the breakers and rowing from cliff to cliff and casting of nets to catch the fish.

One of the common folk dances, Koli, derives its name from Goa and the local fisher people. This tradition is known for the same reason the people are, the lively nature of their personalities and dances. These dances generally involve a specific focus, the sea and fishing, which makes obvious sense as it is also tied to the most common occupation, which is also what the village was known for.

This dance is performed by both men and women who are separated into two groups. The larger of the two groups represents the background of the story. They work in pairs and their movements indicate the flow of waves and the rowing of boats. The smaller group is also broken into pairs. These pairs articulate the main story of the dance, which usually involves the Kolin (the fisherwoman) advancing on the Koli (the fisherman). This is a ritual oriented dance that is symbolic to the locals and fascinating to tourists.
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