Music and dance are inseparable from the lives of the people of Goa. The culture of Goa encapsulates the essence of both the western as well as eastern cultures. Traditionally, Konkani folk songs have been extremely popular among the Goans. Dance and music are popular in Goa, irrespective of religion and creed.
The most popular dance forms of Goa are briefly described as follows:
- Manddo- Manddo is basically a form of dance-song, which is extremely popular in Goa. This dance has undergone manifold modifications, and has ultimately come into the present form. The term Manddo, is directly derived from the Sanskrit term Mandalam, which means circular movements. Although, originally the dance involved circular movements, in the modern times it involves parallel movements, with some degree of circular movements at the fag end of the dance performance.
The music starts with a steady and soft rhythm, which ultimately grows into drowsy and dormant mood. At the very end, the music reaches the crescendo, which is accompanied by a lot of frenzied dancing. The origins of Manddo, is attributed to the synthesis of Latin or Italian music and temple Devadasi dance-song. Since 1966, a Manddo festival is organised every year in Goa.
- Dulpod or Durpod- The Dulpod or Durpod consists of couplets, staccato beats and it steadily moves towards a syncopated rhythm. The fast-moving nature of the Dulpod, symbolizes the sprightliness in the lives of the Goans. Some of the most popular Dulpods are those of Cecila and her sewing machine, Maya-ya-ya and Lia-lia-lo.
- Dekhni- Dekhni or Dakhni, is a form of song-cum-dance and is very popular among the Christians of Goa. The song was supposedly composed by the Christian artistes, expressing the Christian sentiments for the lost Hindu past.
The term Dakhni in Sanskrit means devil of a female. The story that is narrated during the performance, states how a group of females coaxed a boatman to help them ferry to the other side of the river, where exists the residence of Damu, where they have to perform in a wedding.
- Kunnbi Geet- Kunnbi Geet is a folk song of the Kunnbis, the hardy labourers of Goa. The Kunnbi population is concentrated in the Chandor-Koudi hamlet of Chandor region and their exclusive ward is known as Miream-Jirem. The song is usually performed to the accompaniment of Ghumatt, drums and cymbals. The themes of the song are usually of love, bitter resentment, satires against land usurping landlords and the different stages of cultivation such as Nondni (weeding), Mollni (threshing) and Luvni (harvesting).
- Talgoddi Dance- Literally meaning young men in ecstatic rhythm, the Talgoddi dance expresses the celebration of the pure rhythmic pattern of human movements. It is especially popular in Chandor village and is performed by about eight to twelve men. The dance is performed on platforms of thatched green coconut, tree plaited leaves and the structure is mounted upon betel-nut poles.
- Mussoll- Literally meaning rice pounding instrument of the women folk, Mussoll is a folk play cum dance of the Chandor Kott and Kouddi areas of Chandor village. The dance form depicts the legendary powers of the Kshatriyas and must have originated from the Sabha-Mandapas of the royal temple of Lord Chandreshwar. Mussoll is also considered as war dance, portraying the features of the martial race.
- Dhalo- Dhalo is essentially a song cum dance, which is played rather than danced. Dhalo fuses the languages of Konkani and Marathi in its performance and is performed on the moonlit night of the month of Pausha. It is performed on the platform of the open courtyards, which previously had served for processing the corn harvest. The performance is done by a group of around 24 women, who are divided in groups of 12, facing each other. A variety of fancy dresses are sported by the performers of the dance, such as costumes of animals, birds and males. The entire occasion is celebrated with a lot of gusto and fervour.