Performances (Creative Events)

Raas Leela

Vira, Mansi; Gore, Ankita; Maharishi, Esha; Mehta, Anika; Patel, Rima; Sondhi, Jaya

This piece is a modernized Garba-Raas, a folk dance originating in Gujarat, India. Garba is traditionally performed in a circle around a lit clay lantern to honor Goddess Durga. In Raas, dancers use wooden sticks called dandiyas. The dance requires an even number of people to form pairs. High energy, large movements, and vividly colorful costumes characterize both Garba and Raas. In this dance, the costumes and movements are largely folkloric, interspersed with glimpses of cinematic steps that accompany the Bollywood tracks. The women’s embroidered blouses, decorated flared skirts, and the heavy silver jewelry, are all enhanced with beads, shells, and mirrors. Men typically wear ornate Kedias (high waist tops) also with some jewelry. The cinematic essence of this piece is its reference to the divine love story of Radha and Lord Krishna, played by Mansi and Rima, respectively. Their relationship is an embodiment of their love, passion, and devotion to each other, and ultimately, to God. The Raas Leela, the circular dance of love, is the zenith of Radha and Krishna’s love.

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Academic Units
Dance (Barnard College)
Published Here
October 3, 2013