Dindi is a traditional dance form from the state of Maharashtra in western India.
It is usually during the Dindi festival.
And is celebrated in honor of Lord Vithoba, a form of Lord Krishna.
The dance is by a group of dancers who move in a circular formation, holding small decorated sticks or dindis in their hands.
The dancers sway to the rhythm of the music, singing devotional songs known as “abhangs.”
The dance represents the devotion and love for Lord Vithoba and is accompanied by the sound of cymbals, drums, and other traditional musical instruments.
Dindi dance is closely associated with the Warkari community in Maharashtra, who are devotees of Lord Vithoba.
The word “Dindi” refers to a procession or a group of people moving together in a religious or festive context.
During the Dindi festival, devotees gather in large numbers and form processions, singing and dancing their way to the temple of Lord Vithoba in Pandharpur.
The dancers in Dindi perform intricate footwork and rhythmic movements while holding dindis (decorated sticks) in their hands, which symbolize the staff of Saint Tukaram, a prominent saint-poet from Maharashtra.
The dance is accompanied by devotional songs called “abhangs,” which are sung in praise of Lord Vithoba and composed by saints such as Tukaram and Namdev.
The rhythmic beat of the traditional musical instruments like cymbals, drums, and harmonium adds to the festive and devotional atmosphere of the dance.
Dindi Dance Attire
The dancers in Dindi usually wear traditional Maharashtrian attire.
For women, the typical attire consists of a nauvari or luggage saree, which is a nine-yard-long saree draped in a unique style. The saree is draped in a way that allows freedom of movement for the dance.
Women also wear a choli (blouse) that matches the saree and is usually brightly colored.
They adorn themselves with traditional Maharashtrian jewelry such as nath (nose ring), bangles, earrings, and necklaces.
The dancers often wear a traditional headgear called a pheta or turban, especially the male participants.
The overall look is colorful and vibrant, reflecting the festive spirit and cultural heritage of Maharashtra.
History of Dindi Dance
Dindi has its roots in the state of Maharashtra, particularly in the Warkari community. The Warkaris are devotees of Lord Vithoba, a form of Lord Krishna, and they have been practicing the Dindi dance as a part of their religious and cultural traditions for many centuries.
The origins of Dindi can be traced back to the bhakti (devotional) movement that emerged in Maharashtra during the medieval period. Prominent saints and poets like Sant Tukaram and Sant Namdev composed devotional songs known as “abhangs” in praise of Lord Vithoba. These abhangs became an integral part of the Dindi dance.
The Dindi festival, during which the dance is performed, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the town of Pandharpur, where the main temple of Lord Vithoba is located. Devotees gather in large numbers and undertake a pilgrimage known as “Dindi Yatra,” walking long distances to reach Pandharpur.
Dindi symbolizes the devotion and love of the Warkari community towards Lord Vithoba and serves as a way to express their religious sentiments and seek spiritual connection.
Musical Instruments in Dindi Dance
Dindi dance is accompanied by a variety of musical instruments that create a rhythmic and melodious backdrop for the dancers. Some of the prominent musical instruments used in dance are:
It is a barrel-shaped, two-headed drum that provides a deep and resonant sound. The pakhawaj is played with both hands and is a crucial instrument in Dindi dance, setting the rhythm and providing a strong bass.
Taal is a set of cymbals that produce metallic sounds. It is played by striking one cymbal against the other, creating a crisp and rhythmic percussion accompaniment.
The dholki is a small, double-headed drum with a wooden body. It is played with the hands, and its rhythmic beats add energy and liveliness to the Dindi dance performance.
The harmonium is a keyboard instrument that provides melodic support to the dancers and singers during Dindi. It is operated by pumping air through bellows and produces rich, harmonious tones.
Manjira, also known as cymbals or handbells, consists of a pair of small, metallic concave discs held in the hand. They are struck together to create a ringing sound, adding a rhythmic element to the music.
These musical instruments also play a crucial role in creating the musical tapestry for both Dindi dances, adding depth, rhythm, and melody to the performances.
Famous Dancers of Dindi Dance
Shobha Gurtu was a renowned Indian classical singer who was known for her expertise in singing abhangs.
the devotional songs associated with the Dindi dance.
Her soulful renditions of abhangs have helped popularize Dindi dance and its musical traditions.
Jitendra Abhisheki was also a prominent vocalist and composer.
But known for his mastery of Marathi devotional music.
He composed and performed abhangs.
Also providing musical support for Dindi dance performances and contributing to the popularity of the dance form.
Etymology of Dindi Dance
The etymology of the term “Dindi” in the context of Dindi dance can be traced back to the Marathi language, which is spoken in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The word “Dindi” is derived from the Marathi word “Dindi” (दिंडी).
So, this means a procession or a group of people moving together.
In the context of Dindi dance, the term refers to the procession or group of dancers who perform the dance as part of the Dindi festival.
The Dindi festival is also a significant celebration in Maharashtra.
However, particularly with the Warkari community, who are devotees of Lord Vithoba.
During the Dindi festival, devotees undertake a pilgrimage to the town of Pandharpur.
As where the main temple of Lord Vithoba.
They form processions and embark on a collective journey, singing devotional songs and performing the Dindi dance along the way.
The term “Dindi” aptly captures the essence of the dance form.
As it emphasizes the collective movement and the sense of unity among the participants.
The dancers move together in a circular formation, swaying to the rhythm of the music and creating a visually captivating spectacle.