Goff dance is an exotic confluence of vibrant cultural strands. The weaving of the plait – Goff – represents the quiet however conscious assimilation of the impressions left behind by several dynasties, which dominated Goa all through the previous centuries.
The dance is yearly presented by the peasant community in Canacona, Sanguem and Quepem taluka in the Shigmo festival which is the most famous folks festival of Goa.
It is a folk dance with cords, manifesting pleasure and happiness of Goan peasants after a bountiful harvest. It is carried out at some point of the Shigmo Festival in the Hindu Phalgun month.
Each dancer holds a colourful cord hanging at the centre point of the ‘mand’ – the place of performance – and starts dancing intricately with the others, forming a beautiful, colourful, intricate braid at the end of the first movement.
The music starts again and the dancers reverse the pattern of dancing so skillfully that the braid gets unravelled and at the end of the second movement, all the cords are loose and single once again.
There are 4 different braids of Goff dance. The songs sung are devoted to Lord Krishna. Ghumat, Simel and other melodic instruments accompany the dance. Goff has an affinity with tribal dance forms of Gujarat.
Performance of Goff dance
Generally, this folk dance is performed in a group. The dance can be performed by a group of males or females. Each dancer holds a colourful cord that hangs at the centre point of the ‘mand’, which is the place of dance performance.
The dancers start dancing intricately forming a beautiful, colourful, intricate braid at the end of the first movement.
The music begins once again and the dancers reverse the pattern of dancing in such a skilful manner that at the end of the second movement, the braid gets unrevealed and all the cords are loose and single once again.
There are four different braids of Goff dance. The songs that are sung during the dance performance are mostly devoted to Lord Krishna.
Musical Instruments of Golf dance
Ghumat, Samael and Surta Shansi or melodic musical instruments accompany the dance performance.
Costume of Goff dance
The costume of this folk dance is varied however all the attires are traditional. Some male groups prefer to wear kurta – pajama and some kurta dhoti. On the other hand, some female dance groups clad themselves in ghagra-choli while some sari.