For over two decades Dandiya Queen Falguni Pathak has been ruling the stage with her high-energy performances all over the world. Come Navratri, an Indian festival that plays out over nine nights leading to Dassera and Diwali celebrations, every organiser around the world scrambles to book the iconic singer for their shows.
However, expats in Dubai are in for a good time this year as Falguni is going to headline the Navratri festivities in town.Â
Expect to dance the night away to some of the Dandiya Queen’s most popular tunes over two nights at Dandiya Masti which is taking place on October 10 and 11, at the Zabeel Park Amphitheatre.
The singer will have the audience sway and twirl to her melodies as they keep tempo with the beats with a pair of colourful, wooden sticks. For sure, Pathak will be belting out some of her biggest hits, including Chudi Jo Khanki Haath Ma, Maine Payal Hai Chhankai, Meri Chunar Udd Udd Jaye, Ayi Pardesh Se Pariyon Ki Rani and Saawan Mein, among others.
“This is the first time the popular singer is performing over two consecutive days in Dubai. Falguni is all set to enthral the audience with her fabulous numbers,” said Ashwin Sancheti, Managing Partner, Spotlight Entertainment, organisers of Dandiya Masti.
Falguni’s vocal prowess has earned her legions of fans all over the world. Predominantly singing Gujarati folk and traditional songs, she is famous for her fusion of Bollywood and Indi-pop tunes with traditional, folk melodies. We chat with Falguni to know more about her performance:
You have performed in Dubai several times. What is it you like about performing here?It’s my fans, I am always excited to perform for them here. Dubai is my favourite place after Mumbai.Â
Any new songs you will be bringing to your Navratri concert in Dubai?Yes. I will be doing a couple of new Gujarati as well as Bollywood numbers. I will also be performing my latest song, Radha Ne Shyam, which was released recently.
Going back to your early days, can you describe how you got into Garba/Dandiya music?As a child, I used to perform at Bollywood stage shows regularly. In those days, Garba music used to be mainly instrumental pieces and I would be a member of the chorus line. I could never stand still when singing and used to move around all the time. It happened that during one of the shows, someone from the audience shouted out to me asking me to come in front of the stage and sing. That’s how I sang my first Garba tune and the rest is history.
What inspired you to mix Bollywood tunes with traditional folk songs?I had noticed that whenever the beats and melody blended well, people would enjoy dancing to it. So what I did was, took traditional folk music and added a Bollywood flavour to it. That’s how it started.Â
A lot has happened in the Garba/Dandiya scene since you started off, what are some of the changes you’ve seen over the years?Garba/Dandiya is no longer celebrated by the Gujarati community alone. Everyone in India, and elsewhere take part in the festival now. Earlier, Garba used to be held in households or compounds between building blocks, but as the festival started gaining popularity, it moved to bigger venues to accommodate larger crowds. Now, the event has become more organised and also has a global outlook and appeal.Â
You have performed all over the world, what has been your favourite venue/audience?I have always got wonderful responses from the audience wherever I’ve performed. What I observed during my performances abroad is that Indians want to be connected to their traditions and culture. But having said that, I must say that Mumbai is my favourite place to perform.
One Navratri song that’s on your playlist right now?Kesariyo Rang. It is my favourite song.
Show detailsTickets for Dandiya Masti start at Dhs39 for children and Dhs89 for adults and is inclusive of park entry fees. Available at Platinumlist Dubai, tickets for two cost Dhs159 while group tickets for four are priced at Dhs249. Children under 5 enter free while 5 to 15 years pay half price. Dandiya sticks can be purchased at the venue.