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Dollu Kunitha: A group dance of Karnataka

Thursday, May 2, 2013 | 5:58:00 AM

Dollu Kunitha is the most popular and a famous dance of Karnataka.It is performed mainly by men and women of the Kuruba community of Nothern Karnataka. It is performed in order to please the God Beereshwara or Beeralingeswara. Dollu is actually a drum like instrument which is used for music. There are several stories attached to this dance form. These stories involve God Shiva. It is performed at holy places.  The theme for this dance is based on 'Halumatha (Kuruba) Purana' which is passed from generation to generation in oral form.

It is drum dance. The group consists of twelve to sixteen dancers. There is a leader in the center who controls the actions of the perfromers.The dance consists of quick movements and synchronized group formations. Dollu can be found hanging around the neck of the dancer during the dancer performance so it requires that the dancer should be physically strong.

These instruments used are trumpets, gong and flute. This dance is also accompanied by singing a distinct class of songs-Dollu Songs/Drum Songs.

The costume wore during the performance are very simple. Upper part of the body of a male is usually left bare while a black sheet rug is ties on the lower body over the dhoti or sarong. The ladies wear sarees in the traditional style. They tie their hair in circular fashion and attach leaves in it. They also tie white cloth in both arms. The clothes are the reflection of their ancient culture which is still alive in thie dance.

No religious performance of a ritualistic ceremony or any village can take place without this dance. It is used to welcome the harvest season. It can be arranged to commemorate a wedding, the birth of a child or even a burial or a funeral.This dance is not conducted for entertainment but it is conducted for well being of the spectator’s i.e it has a spiritual aspect also.

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