DANCING TO TARPA’S TUNES
India is home to rich culture and tradition, varieties of which can be spotted across our country. Unique to Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a colourful dance form, known as the Tarpa Dance. Indigenous to the Koli, Kokna and Varli tribes, Tarpa is full of vigour, exuding an aura of attractiveness. It is most commonly performed during Diwali and periods of harvest, when men and women both dance to the tune of a wind musical instrument which shares its name with the dance form. The Tarpa instrument is made out of palm leaves, bamboo and gourd. This dance form is one of the most popular attractions of Dadra’s local life. The dance is usually performed at night, after dinner, when both men and women encircle the Tarpa player. The men form the inner circle, whereas the women with their hands entangled around one another’s waist form the outer circle. Often, they alternate to form a single circle. The youth among the tribes participate in the dance, as it requires high energy and swift, agile movements. To the rhythm of the Tarpa, the dancers move graciously in an anti-clockwise direction as the tribes believe that cosmic forces and beings encircle anti-clockwise. Their adoption of the movement is in reverence of the cosmic world. Traditionally, the dancers will never turn their back towards the Tarpa player, as the instrument is considered to be the divine gift of Lord Narandeva. The Tarpa dance is performed between November and May, at the peak of the harvest season, when the new grains are brought in from the threshing grounds. The tribes do not play the Tarpa after June, as it is considered to be a taboo during the post-sowing seasons until harvest. The Tarpa dance is performed by the tribes during a time of celebration and fervour. It brings the entire community together, and, with popularisation, it is EHLQJ DGRSWHG DFURVV VWDJH SHUIRUPDQFHV DGGLQJ D QHZ ¾DYRXU WR WKLV WUDGLWLRQDO dance form.